New skin cancer treatment technology introduced in Aberdeen

In Aberdeen, treating skin cancer could now be easier for patients.
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 4:46 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

In Aberdeen, treating that skin cancer could now be easier for patients.

Aberdeen Dermatology Associates recently received South Dakota’s first installation of Image-Guided Superficial Radiotherapy treatment, which is a non-surgical technology used for the treatment of common skin cancers.

The Image-Guided SRT uses ultrasound and radiation to more precisely treat nonmelanoma skin cancers. Dermatologist Ty Hanson says it’s a much less invasive treatment.

”First of all, there’s no anesthesia. There’s no needles. There’s no cutting, so there’s no knives. There’s no numbing to wear off. There’s no dressings to change. It really doesn’t interfere with your day or your time or your life at all,” said Dr. Hanson.

This means fewer side effects as well.

“In my other patients, in the old days, when we used just regular, traditional radiation, I saw a lot more radiation dermatitis, which is redness and scaling and flaking and sometimes you get an infection on top of all that, and sometimes, I’d have to scrape away tissue. So, that’s the nice thing about this,” said Dr. Hanson.

A study published in the Oncology and Therapy journal showed that the technology has a 99.3% cure rate.

Easier and convenient treatments are important, because according to Dr. Hanson, the rates of skin cancer diagnoses are up

”The good news is other cancers, lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, is on the decrease, but skin cancer is on the increase,” said Dr. Hanson.

Janice Perrion has had melanoma skin cancer before. Removing it left her with 13 stitches. Four weeks ago, she found another spot.

“I came in and I had a spot on my head. They took a biopsy and sent it in and it was a basal cell. They suggested this radiation. I wouldn’t have to have surgery, and I said, ‘Good. That’s what I would prefer,’” said Perrion.

Perrion travels 44 miles three times a week to get treated by the Image-Guided SRT. She says it’s much easier than going through surgical removal.

”It’s fast and you don’t feel it. There’s no feeling at all. It’s so simple and you don’t have to have them cut it out,” said Perrion.

Around 20 treatments from the Image-Guided SRT are recommended, and patients can complete them in as little as five weeks.