Friday, August 2, 2013
Medical Reports: Saving Skin
A huge breakthrough in the way doctors are treating skin cancer. Instead of leaving patients scarred, they can now get rid of the cancer without any cutting. 7's Diana Diaz shows us this new treatment that's Saving Skin.
Rhonda Jenkins: "Before he even cut, he told me 'Do you even realize that we're going to have to take a big chunk of skin?' I think I even felt sick to my stomach."
The invasive surgery left the 46-year-old with a scar above her left eyebrow.
Rhonda Jenkins: "From one side of the eyebrow to the other."
Weeks later, the fair-skinned blonde got more bad news. Doctors needed to remove another cancerous spot, this time, above her lip.
Rhonda Jenkins: "The scarring would be a lot more intense. If they take a half inch, an inch, whatever it be they take out of your lip, it's going to distort it."
Fortunately for Rhonda, there was another alternative. That did not involve cutting.
Dermatologist Deborah Longwill is one of only a few doctors using a cancer-killing machine called the SRT-100.
Dr. Deborah Longwill: "This is very exciting for my patients. I'm able to take care of them here in the office without having to do any kind of incision, causing any type of scarring or remove of any part of their face."
Rhonda Jenkins: "I can't even explain how relieved I was that this option became available."
In just 90 seconds, the X-ray machine blasts the skin cancer with low doses of radiation.
Dr. Deborah Longwill: "The energy of the light is going for the DNA of the skin cancer cells."
Doctors make sure all the surrounding skin is protected.
Dr. Deborah Longwill: "We are targeting specifically the skin cancer cells and saving the healthy tissue."
Most patients will need 12 quick treatments over four to six weeks.
Dr. Deborah Longwill: "Patients can expect redness, a feeling of a sunburn, stinging."
And while patients may sacrifice time, they won't sacrifice their looks.
Dr. Deborah Longwill: "At the end of the fractionated treatments, the skin cancer cells die and you have healthy tissue overcoming the area. They don't have a permanent scar at the end."
Rhonda just finished all 12 treatments and says it was so easy, especially compared to surgery.
Rhonda Jenkins: "Today I covered it with makeup. Unless you're looking closely, you don't really see it."
Within a few weeks doctors say Rhonda won't see anything at all. Saving her skin from cancer and scarring.
Rhonda Jenkins: "I can still smile. I have my life back."
The SRT-100 has a 95 to 98 success rate and most insurances will pay for the treatment.
For More Information:
DR. DEBORAH LONGWILL
7700 SW 104th St
Miami, FL 33156