May 27, 2014 – Toms River, NJ, Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, afflicting more than two million Americans each year, a number that is rising rapidly, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. It is also the easiest to cure, if diagnosed and treated early. When allowed to progress, however, skin cancer can result in disfigurement and even death.
The J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center is the first in the area to use High Dose Rate (HDR) surface applicator known as the Freiburg Flap, and Valencia and Leipzig applicators to treat non-melanoma skin cancers. The Freiburg Flap is a flexible silicone rubber surface mold consisting of individual pellets connected in a mesh design. Catheters are inserted into the channels, delivering a precise dose of radiation to the affected body part. The Valencia and Leipzig applicators are metal applicators that allow treatment of skin cancers with a radioactive seed.
"Using these HDR surface applicators allows us to provide, highly customized treatments for our patients," said Dr. Rajesh Iyer, Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology. Patients are benefiting from this new method to deliver radiation therapy for the treatment of skin cancer. "Typically patients will receive fewer treatments with this treatment technique as opposed to treatment on a traditional linear accelerator. Being able to provide patients with a faster treatment cycle allows them to be more comfortable and able to return to their normal activities more quickly," Dr. Iyer added.
These HDR surface applicators are used for non-melanoma skin cancers including, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It is especially useful on cancers where resection may be more difficult, such as the head, face, neck, foot and ankle. A customized mold is made for the patient which allows the radiation oncologist to better adjust the distribution of the radiation dose.
The J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center offers a full continuum of preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and support services. Our Radiation and Medical Oncologists and Surgeons are leaders in their field and provide highly sophisticated care. The Cancer Center has consistently received approval from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons for its Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program, meeting the commission's high standards of medical excellence and patient care since 1986. As a member of the Penn Cancer Network, patients have access to vast research and technological resources from one of the nation's foremost cancer centers. In addition, our holistic approach to cancer care features many complementary therapies including art, music and pet therapy as well as patient navigators to assist patients and their families.
For more information about the Freiburg Flap treatment at the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center at Community Medical Center, please call 732.557.8148.