eBx Skin Cancer Treatments
For many patients with skin cancer, radiation treatment and surgery are often the best options. However, when you are diagnosed with a non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), such as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, another option is available — electronic brachytherapy, known as Skin eBx.
Skin eBx is a state-of-the-art, patient-friendly treatment for NMSC. Contact Berman Skin Institute to see if you might be a candidate for electronic brachytherapy.
What Is Electronic Brachytherapy for Skin Cancer?
Electronic brachytherapy — or eBx — is a non-surgical treatment for people with NMSC. Studies have shown it to be effective and safe when used to treat NMSC. One study of 183 patients found excellent long-term local control with a median follow-up time of 7.6 years.
Treatment with eBx involves the use of a miniaturized x-ray, which delivers a dose of radiation to a cancer lesion. The radiation is targeted, affect the cancerous area only and leaving healthy tissue intact.
The treatment process typically requires a few sessions. Treatments are customized based on the patient’s needs, including their medical history, age and cancer size, type and location. Each treatment session typically takes only a few minutes. Once a session is complete, there’s no downtime required, and most patients can resume their usual activities.
Who Is a Candidate for the eBx Procedure?
You may be a candidate for electronic brachytherapy if you have a form of non-melanoma skin cancer. The providers at Berman Skin Institute can review your medical history with you, evaluate your skin cancer and discuss your treatment preferences to help you determine whether eBx is the right choice.
Some factors to consider when comparing eBx to other treatment options include:
- Treatment time
- Comfort and pain
- Skin appearance after treatment
Electronic Brachytherapy may be the treatment of choice when:
- You’re looking for a painless, nonsurgical therapy
- Scarring needs to be minimal as the tumor is in a visible area (face or nose)
- The tumor is in an uncomfortable position (shin)
- Surgery is not advised due to a health condition or medication (blood thinners)
- It is vital to preserve the structure and use of the area being treated (hand or ear)
- The margins are positive after initial surgical excision
What Are Radiation Treatment Options for NMSC?
Understanding the difference between eBx and traditional treatments can help you make the right choice based on your needs.
Traditional Radiation Treatments
Two traditional radiation treatments are available for NMSC are:
- External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT): EBRT uses low-dose x-rays or electrons accurately directed to the area of the tumor within a specialized treatment facility. It is used for the vast majority of cancer types and is delivered daily over several weeks.
- High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy: HDR Brachytherapy works via a precise, radioactive seed that delivers high-dose radiation within specialized catheters to a targeted area within a shielded room. It is also commonly used for breast, lung, prostate and gynecologic cancers.
Innovative Radiation Treatment
Compared to EBRT or HDR, eBx is a highly focused therapy that uses low-energy x-rays without using a radioactive isotope. The treatment thus maximally spares healthy tissues and can be delivered safely and conveniently in an unshielded room.
What Happens During eBx?
The simple outpatient treatment takes place 2-3 times per week. The number of sessions required will vary based on the tumor’s size, depth, and location. An individualized treatment plan with custom shielding is developed for each patient. During treatment, a small surface applicator is applied to the skin thru which radiation is delivered for just a few minutes. The therapy is non-invasive and painless.
The patients can drive themselves home and immediately return to normal activities. As a superficial skin treatment localized to the skin cancer, there is no radiation exposure to other areas of your body or to anyone else.
A radiation therapist and physicist work under the direct supervision of a physician who specializes in radiation treatment of skin cancer.
What Are the Benefits of eBx Radiation?
For the right candidates, eBx treatment offers several benefits over more traditional treatments:
- Proven effectiveness: The cure rates for eBx are similar to surgery and EBRT. Most people receiving brachytherapy remain cancer-free.
- Increased patient comfort: eBx is pain-free, knife-free and needle-free. No anesthesia or sedation is needed.
- No scars: eBx doesn’t cause scarring at the treatment site, making it an optimal solution for treating lesions on the face or other visible areas.
- Healthy tissue is unaffected: The radiation during eBx targets the lesion, so little or no healthy tissue is affected. The loss of use is minimal, especially when compared to surgical treatments.
- Few side effects: Since the radiation is delivered directly to the lesion, there is a significantly reduced risk of side effects.
- Convenience: Treatments take just a few minutes and are spaced over a few days rather than the weeks that EBRT requires, with none of the recovery time needed after surgery.
- Advanced therapy: eBx is an established therapy that benefits from ongoing technological advances, making it even more effective as a treatment.
eBx: A State of the Art Therapy
Advances in treatment planning and applicator design facilitate even greater precision in dose delivery and minimize harmful radiation to surrounding healthy tissues.
Excellent efficacy, cosmetic and functional outcomes, combined with reduced risk of side effects, short outpatient treatment times and improved quality of life, indicate that brachytherapy is a patient-centered treatment choice. The shorter treatment duration of surface brachytherapy also lowers the total treatment costs.
Schedule a Consultation at Berman Skin Institute
To learn more about eBx and whether you’re a candidate for the NMSC treatment, schedule an appointment at Berman Skin Institute today.