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Novant Health offers a new attack on skin cancer without scarring

Charlotte, N.C., June 6, 2016 – At Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, doctors are using brachytherapy, a form of radiation therapy, to treat nonmelanoma skin cancers. Using a device called the Leipzig applicator, it offers a noninvasive approach to treatment by delivering radiation directly to the skin lesion. This alternative to surgery targets cancer cells without pain or damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Radiation is a good alternative to surgery, not only in cases where surgery is not possible, but also in cases where expected functional or cosmetic outcome would be better with radiation therapy than with surgery. Leipzig helps fight cancer in difficult-to-treat locations such as ears, noses, lips and shins. The procedure is highly effective without the wound healing and scarring associated with surgery.

“As a physician, it’s very rewarding to be able to offer a nonsurgical treatment for skin cancer that delivers equally great results without the pain or scarring,” said Dr. William Warlick, a radiation oncologist who uses Leipzig to treat his patients at Presbyterian Medical Center.

Benefits of skin brachytherapy using the Leipzig applicator include no cutting, no pain, little to no scarring, no bleeding, less than 10-minute procedures, pinpoint accuracy, preservation of more healthy tissue and improved cure rates. Short-term side effects usually include mild redness of the treated area, but can also include dry peeling or moist skin. These side effects usually resolve within two weeks after treatment. Long-term side effects may include a slight discoloration of the skin at the treatment site and localized hair loss.

Patients should discuss treatment options and relative risks of potential side effects with their doctor. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and treatment is often highly effective when cancer is caught early. Tell your doctor if you notice a mole that has changed in size, shape or color.

For more information on Leipzig or to request a consult, please call 704-384-4188.

Posted on Monday, June 6, 2016