Most radiotherapy is deeply penetrating, able to reach tissue deep inside the body and destroy cancer cells in the internal organs. However, Cancer Centre London offers superficial radiotherapy treatment, delivered using an Xstrahl Superficial Radiotherapy Machine, which emits low dose radiotherapy designed to penetrate only the outer layers of skin and tissue, making it ideal for the treatment of benign conditions and early stage skin cancer.
The superficial radiotherapy service at CCL is run by a number of highly experienced professionals, led by Dr John Glees, a renowned skin cancer specialist with a 40 year career in major NHS teaching hospitals.
Consultants at Cancer Centre London use low dose superficial radiotherapy to treat a variety of benign (non-cancerous) conditions, including:
- Dupuytren’s Contracture – the thickening of connective tissue in the hands, causing the fingers to bend inwards, creating a ‘claw-like’ hand
- Heterotopic Ossification – the bruising of muscle after hip replacement surgery leading to muscle becoming bone, causing immobility and pain
- Ledderhose Disease – the formation of lumps of collagen in the feet, causing discomfort
- Peyronie’s Disease – the growth of fibrous scar tissue in the soft tissue of the penis, causing discomfort.
- Psoriasis – a common skin condition causing skin redness and irritation, which usually presents with thick, red patches covered with flaky, silver/white scales of skin
- Viral Warts
- Keloids – abnormal scarring that can often cause stretched skin and reduced movement when formed over joints, as well as tenderness, itchiness and physical disfigurement. At CCL, superficial radiotherapy is used in conjunction with surgery to deliver brilliant results.
Most types of skin cancer are treated at Cancer Centre London, and many of these can be cured completely using low dose radiotherapy, either by itself or in conjunction with incisive surgery to prevent reoccurrence. Skin cancers treated with superficial radiotherapy at CCL include:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – a form of non-melanoma skin cancer which is treated with superficial radiotherapy in the form of 9 daily sessions over a period of 2 weeks.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) – another form of non-melanoma skin cancer which is treated with superficial radiotherapy in the form of 10 daily sessions over a period of two weeks.
- Lentigo Maligna – a pre-melanoma skin condition which can be very unattractive but can be treated with superficial radiotherapy to excellent effect.
Superficial radiotherapy is a uniformly excellent treatment approach to skin cancers and benign skin conditions, with cure rates for cancers equalling those of plastic surgery, and cosmetic results widely regarded as brilliant.