Every day a patient contacts me as a nearby Dermatology group is running a television advertisement of a new treatment for skin cancer that does not require surgery. Interestingly, every patient says it is a laser. Well, this is not the case. This “new” treatment is not new at all. It is electron beam treatment, a form of radiation. This has been used for decades for the treatment of skin cancer at most radiation oncology centers in the United States. Well, what’s new? A smaller, in-office version of this machine is available and is being sold to Dermatologists, all of whom prior to having this machine had no training in treating skin cancers with radiation. Why is this practice advertising on Television? Simple. The average reimbursement for treating one cancer is in the tens of thousands of dollars, versus under $1,000 to have the average cancer on the face treated by other modalities and those not on the face costing $600 or less in most cases.
This treatment requires patients to come to the office 4-5 times per week for up to 24 treatment sessions.