Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital Offering New Treatment for Skin Cancer
Only location in Delaware County to use innovative Freiburg Flap applicator
Darby, PA (June 4, 2012): The skin cancer rate in America is on the rise. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than two million people are diagnosed annually according to a study published in the March 2010 issue of Archives in Dermatology. In Delaware County alone, nearly 1,400 non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed each year.
The Mercy Cancer Care team at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital is the first in the area to use the Freiburg Flap applicator to treat non-melanoma skin cancers. The Freiburg Flap is a flexible silicone rubber surface mold consisting of individual pellets connected in a mesh design. Catheters are inserted into the channels, delivering a precise dose of radiation to the affected body part.
“With the Freiburg Flap, we can offer our patients highly customized treatments that yield significant results in six to eight visits versus 20 to 25 visits with traditional external beam radiation,” says Dr. Usha Babaria, who leads the radiation oncology department at Mercy Fitzgerald. “We are excited to provide our patients access to this innovative treatment.”
Dr. Babaria says that the treatments are well tolerated by patients and are good for all different types of skin cancers, including cutaneous lymphoma and Kaposi’s sarcoma. It is especially effective on cancers located on sloped or curved areas of the body, such as the head, face, neck, foot and ankle.
The Freiburg Flap can easily conform to any body part. A medical physicist will shape the flap accordingly to develop a customized mold. This allows the radiation oncologists to better manipulate the dose distribution of radiation.
In addition to radiation therapy, the comprehensive Mercy Cancer Care program at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital includes community screenings and education, advanced diagnostics and imaging, care coordination by a specially-trained nurse navigator, chemotherapy, minimally invasive surgery, access to genetic counseling and clinical trials, rehabilitation, wound care, spiritual counseling and support groups.
For more information about the Freiburg Flap treatment at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, please call 610.237.4370.