The vision that drives Softray is to market an alternative treatment approach against skin cancer based on superficial X-Ray therapy. In most cases the superficial X-Ray therapy treatment is painless and effective compared to other treatment methods such as surgical removal, cryotherapy, topical chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy, as it is fast, painless, and cost-effective. The selection of the treatment method depends on the extent and location of the tumour and the health of the patient.
Softray envisions a future where more patients can avoid surgery. For many patients surgery is the last option due to the potential for scarring and tissue damage and the possibility that tumours may return. This is of particular concern in the facial area. Topical chemotherapeutic and photodynamic therapies are very often not sustainable and have to be redone after a short period of time. In addition, the photodynamic therapy can be very painful leading resulting in patients choosing not to continue the therapy. Both topical chemo and photodynamic therapies are more expensive than superficial X-Ray therapy, especially in view of the fact that these therapies have to be repeated on an annual basis.
Superficial X-Ray therapy treatment has three main curative effects:
- Tumor destruction / anti proliferative effect by influencing the rate of cell division. This effect is highlighted in the treatment of malignant tumors
- Reduction of inflammation and pain relief in small doses. It is demonstrated that low-dose X-Ray therapy can inhibit acute and chronic inflammatory processes
- X-Rays applied at a proper dosage support the immune system and accelerate the healing process
A single therapy cycle of superficial treatments includes on average 10 (between 5 and 14) exposures at only a few minutes every two or three days.
What is Superficial Radiation Therapy?
Superficial Radiation therapy (SRT) is a specialized non-invasive method of treating non-melanoma skin cancers. The goal of SRT is to destroy the skin cancer by administering superficial radiation to a defined treatment field with minimal damage to surrounding normal tissue. This goal is accomplished because normal, healthy tissue cells are able to overcome the effects of radiation while abnormal, unhealthy cancer cells are not. It is a highly effective treatment, leaves little or no scaring and does not require any physical restriction. This treatment is especially good for patients who are seeking non-surgical options or those who are not ideal surgical candidates.
Common side effects of SRT during treatment are redness, crusting, scaling, itching and mild burning. Possible side effects include hair loss in the treatment area and a slight skin coloured scar.
The total dose of radiation is delivered over multiple treatments to help reduce the side effects of radiation. Appointments are usually two to three times a week with the average number of treatments being between 12 and 16. Treatment appointments are usually very short with the total time from start to finish being 15 minutes. The actual treatment time is much less than this as each dose of radiation is administered in less than 90 seconds. Most patients are able to return home after the treatment.
What are my chances for cure?
Superficial Radiation Therapy has a cure rate of 95% to 98%.