Designing better care for patients with skin cancer
For further details about radiation therapy treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer click here.
Gai has been visiting her skin specialist for many years and has had various lesions treated locally. When one lesion started deteriorating at a faster rate, Gai rushed back from a holiday to see her specialist. After conversations about potential surgery, her consultant referred her to Dr Chelsie O’Connor at GenesisCare – Macquarie University Hospital, to discuss radiation therapy.
Gai’s long history of basal and squamous cell carcinomas (keratinocyte cancers) and the placement on her leg of her current lesion, made her a good candidate for radiation treatment. These types of cancers are relatively common, with men having a 70% chance of developing a keratinocyte cancer after the age of 70 years, and women having a 58% chance.2
Gai received daily treatments over a 7-week period, with a 2-week break in the middle to assist with some swelling and discomfort – common side effects of radiation treatment, especially in the legs. However, with the advances in radiation therapy in the last 5 years, side-effects are much less severe as the therapy is now only treating the skin, not the underlying layers.
Six-months post-treatment, Gai was back doing all the things she loves – including her tennis and running with her new great-grandchild.
- Li D, et al. Cancer Biol Med 2014; 11(4):217-236.
- Cancer Council ACT. Skin cancer in Australia. Available at: https://actcancer.org/prevention/sunsmart/skin-cancer-in-australia/. Accessed on 30/03/2021.
The treatment has meant my quality-of-life is amazing - I can do what I want to do when I want to do it, I’m happy.Gai