If you have squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma, there is an in-office alternative to Mohs and other surgery that yields appealing cosmetic results.

“Basal cell carcinomas (BCC’s) are the most common form of skin cancer seen in adults,” says Nita Patel, MD, Medical Director of Advance Dermatology and Laser Medical Center in Marina Del Rey, CA.

“Eighty-five percent of these occur in the head and neck area with the majority affecting the nose,” continues Dr. Patel.

Basal cell carcinoma, the most common overall cancer in the world, is so rarely fatal, that only a handful of fatal cases are recorded in medical literature.

But surgical resection and the subsequent healing can leave very visible after-effects and scarring.

Same with surgical treatment for squamous cell carcinoma, which definitely has the potential to spread if not treated in a timely fashion, though it’s nowhere near as deadly as melanoma.

Alternative to Mohs Surgery

“Superficial radiation therapy (SRT) can provide an alternative nonsurgical solution with great cosmetic results,” says Dr. Patel.

“Superficial radiation therapy is an in-office series of treatments that uses a range of energies that penetrates 4-7 mm depth of tumor in a localized manner.

“Ultrasound is used to evaluate the depth of the tumor which determines the energies selected for the treatment.

“Ultrasound is also used to gauge the response following each treatment and follow the repopulation of healthy tissue.

“Superficial radiation therapy is an alternative nonsurgical treatment for both BCC’s and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC’s), especially in difficult surgical locations such as the ears and nose or where healing can be impaired such as the lower extremities.

“It becomes a great option for elderly patients who are not good surgical candidates due to underlying medical problems.”

Dr. Patel is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and has extensive experience in general dermatology, skin cancer surgery, cosmetic procedures and lasers.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  



Top image: Kelly Nelson, MD, NCI, cancer.gov
Ahmad I, Das Gupta AR. Epidemiology of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the pinna. Journal of Laryngology and Otology. 2001;115(2):85-86. [PubMed]