A 74-year-old man with hyperpigmented and ulcerated growth below the nasal bridge was experiencing pain due to the lesion. Initially, he was treated in another hospital where a biopsy was done, which revealed keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (type of skin cancer). Later, he was advised surgical excision followed by a flap to cover the defect but the patient was reluctant to undergo surgery and visited the Kauvery Hospital in the city for further treatment.
Dr. A N Vaidhyswaran, Director and Senior Consultant, Radiation Oncologist, Kauvery Hospital said, “We examined the patient thoroughly, he had a 1.5cm sized, almost circular, necrotic (premature death of cells) and excavated lesion just below his nasal bridge. As the growth was present over the nose, it was unappealing cosmetically. After obtaining informed consent, we decided to proceed with radiotherapy with the electron beam.” The patient was immobilized with a thermoplastic face mask. A custom-made cut-out was made according to the growing size and radiation treatment field, which was positioned in the electron applicator. An electron beam is a form of ionizing particle radiation which can deliver a high dose to the skin surface. This will spare the deeper normal tissues. This was ideal for this patient and the treatment lasted about 5.5 weeks “There was visible difference during the treatment, and the necrotic area had healed. The skin was also healing and the region was covered with scabs.
The region had mild dermatitis and pigmentation and this was managed through ointments. However, after eight weeks the patient was examined and found no trace of tumor, and the ulcer had completely healed. Though there was very mild pigmentation of the skin which was insignificant,” said Dr. Vaidhyaswaran.
Health experts said that skin cancers can be prevented by reducing direct exposure to sunlight, and it is always recommended to apply dermatologically recommended sunscreens. Also, if there are any changes in the mole or new moles, immediately check with an oncologist to rule out the possibility of cancer. The sooner it is detected lesser the complications.
“Cancer treatments in India have grown over the last decade with the adoption of new methodologies, sophisticated technology, and with higher precision. The department of Radiotherapy Oncology at our Cancer Centre is equipped with an advanced Linear Accelerator Radiation Unit, and has skilled and experienced radiation oncologists who can plan and deliver a precise quantity of radiation to the tumor tissue, while sparing normal tissues, thus avoiding the side effects of radiation therapy,” said Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj Co-Founder and Executive Director Kauvery Hospital.