Patients fight skin cancer with radiation

TAMPA (WFLA/NBC) - Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country, affecting more than 2 million Americans each year.

Treatment involves painful surgery to remove layers of cancerous skin, leaving patients with a lot of downtime, scarring and fear.

Dr. Seth Forman is the first board certified dermatologist in the Tampa area to bring radiation therapy to target skin cancer, finally giving patients another option.

"They're sick and tired of having surgery. They're sick and tired of getting cut. They're sick and tired of the bleeding," he said.

Jadene Scott is a liver transplant patient, and because of the anti-rejection medications she has to take, her skin cancer rates shot up.

She constantly had to face surgeries to cut and freeze layers of skin.

"I avoided it because it hurt so much to have it cut or freezing," she said.

Now her road to recovery is a lot smoother.

"It's like blinking my eye and I'm done - no pain, no itching, no swelling, no nothing," she said.

"This is more or like going to a dentist and having x-rays taken on your teeth," said David Milroy, a fellow patient.

Milroy at one time had to be admitted to the hospital to cut out lesions. Now he's treated in 90 seconds.

Cones are used to help pinpoint the radiation exactly where it needs to go, delivering the exact doses needed to cure skin cancer.

"The data support that this has as good of clearance rate as surgery," Forman said.

The hope is the painless procedure will keep patients coming in for monitoring and treatment.

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