Electron Beam Therapy

Electron beam therapy (EBT) offers patients a state-of-the-art nonsurgical management option for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. It is particularly well-suited for treating cancers located near the eyes, ears, nose, or lips because it can produce favorable cosmetic outcomes. The treatment uses a very superficial, non-penetrating electron beam to destroy cancer cells in the targeted area while allowing protection of healthy cells.  For most patients, the regimen involves four to six weeks of daily treatments, five days a week, depending on the size and location of the cancer.

IntraOp and Alliant Dermatology bring electron-beam therapy to skin cancer patients in Florida

Benefits 

  • 90% to 98% cure rate, depending on location
  • Little or no discomfort during treatment
  • Each treatment lasts less than five minutes
  • Side effects are limited to the treatment site, usually involving gradual development of skin irritation, redness or “sunburn” that gradually dissipates after completing treatment
  • Cosmetically satisfying results, with minimal or no scarring
  • Throughout the course of treatment, normal everyday activities can be continued, including work and sports. There are no restrictions or limitations.

Why Choose Electron Beam Therapy?

Electron Beam Therapy is well suited to treat most non-melanoma skin cancers, in particular:
  • Cosmetically sensitive areas, such as the ear, nose, lips or around the eyes
  • Slow healing areas such as the lower legs or feet
  • Patients who are on blood thinners or who bleed easily
  • Patients who are at risk for infection
  • Patients who are elderly and/or are considered high risk for surgical procedures who otherwise are not able to undergo skin cancer surgery
  • There are no restrictions or limitations.  Throughout the course of treatment, normal everyday activities can be continued, including work and sports.

How Does Electron Beam Therapy Work?

Electrons and Radiation are a very important tool in the fight against cancer. When radiation interacts with a cancerous cell, it alters the cell’s DNA (or genetic make-up) and its ability to reproduce, which ultimately leads to cell death in the cancerous tumor.  The electron beam system used at Alliant Dermatology protects healthy tissues. It works by delivering a series of superficial electron beam treatments to the cancer site that destroy cancer cells but allow healthy cells to heal.

How Effective is Electron Beam Therapy?

Superficial electron beam treatment is very effective at destroying both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Most of the published studies report cure rates ranging from 90% to 98%. However, many factors can affect the likelihood of cure, including the cancer size and location, the sub-type of histology, if the cancer was treated previously, etc.

How Long Do the Treatments Take?

The total length of treatment time depends on several factors, including the size and location of the cancer and the overall desired cosmetic outcome. Most patients complete treatment in 10 to 30 sessions, each lasting less than five minutes. The longer treatment courses tend to deliver better cosmetic results. Throughout the course of treatment, normal everyday activities can be continued, including work and sports. There are no restrictions or limitations.

What Are the Side Effects of Electron Beam Therapy?

Side effects are limited to the treatment site. The type of side effects experienced depends on the size and location of the cancer and the length of treatment. In general, most patients gradually develop skin irritation or a sunburn-like redness in the treatment area. Prescription creams or lotions are available to help the healing process. Side effects do not usually begin until the second or third week of treatment and peak a few days after treatment is completed. Then, over the course of two to four weeks, the side effects gradually dissipate. You may lose hair at the treatment site, which might not grow back. There may be subtle lightening of the skin in the treatment area or the development of small spider veins years later. However, most patients are very pleased with their treatment results.

Is Electron Beam Therapy Covered by Insurance?

Electron beam therapy is a medically accepted form of treatment for skin cancer. It is covered by Medicare and most major insurance carriers. Our billing specialists can confirm your insurance benefits to determine any out-of-pocket expenses you may incur with this treatment.