At Advanced Dermatology, Inc., we know that the words “skin cancer” can be frightening, confusing, and extremely stressful to hear. But our Dana Point dermatologist is prepared to offer and recommend the right treatment for you, all depending on your individual situation and tailored to provide you the most efficient way to address skin cancer with the least amount of discomfort and side effects. In many instances, radiation therapy will be the best method.
Radiation therapy for skin cancer works using high energy rays to disrupt the growth of cancer cells by damaging their genetic material. The goal is to eradicate the cancer cells and to cause minimal damage to the surrounding non-cancerous cells. Radiation therapy used by our Dana Point dermatologist is effective because your normal cells generally are capable of self-repair from any radiation damage, while cancer cells do not possess that ability and are destroyed.
While radiation therapy is an efficient too in the fight to treat skin cancer, you also need to be aware of the side effects that can occur as a result of this treatment. Many of them are temporary, such as fatigue; red, flaking, peeling, or shrinking skin; nausea; vomiting; and hair loss in the area of the skin that is being treated. Our Dana Point dermatologist will work with you to weigh the benefits of radiation therapy against the possibility of side effects and how they may impact you. There is a risk of side effects that are permanent. Among these is damaged salivary glands due to radiation. It is also possible to experience side effects long after your treatment. Among these are infertility; vaginal scarring; changes to the skin; bowel problems that can cause diarrhea, blood, or obstruction; memory loss; and chronic bladder or rectal irritation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict the precise likelihood of any given side effects, but your knowledge and understanding of them will assist in making an informed decision about your treatment.
Discuss your concerns and questions with our Dana Point dermatologist. Radiation therapy may not necessarily cure cancer, but it is a frequent and well accepted choice in the treatment of skin cancer.