New Beginnings: Supporting Cancer Survivors

New Beginnings: Supporting Cancer Survivors 

By Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a time of year when charities, brands, companies and people band together to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. Wondering what that has to do with Dermatology? Cancer patients undergoing radiation treatments for cancer are usually marked with 2-3 small tattoo marks on their skin. These marks guide the radiation therapist to position the treatment in the same exact location each time. While these marks are clinically very helpful during cancer treatment, they are permanent and leave recovered patients with a constant reminder of their battle. That’s where Dermatologists come in, to remove these tattoo markings with the latest laser technologies.

As board certified, American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS) members Dr. Klein and Dr. Robinson are proud to participate in the New Beginnings: Radiation Mark Removal Program, a national philanthropic campaign offering free radiation mark removal for cancer patients. This service is free of charge for cancer survivors so that they can have the new beginning they deserve. If you are a candidate, please contact the office to schedule a consultation at (203) 635-0770. To participate patients must provide an official letter from their oncologist or radiologist approving the procedure. This free service is open to all cancer patients and is not limited to breast cancer or lymphoma survivors. 

At Modern Dermatology we use a combination of Q-switched and PicoSure laser treatments for tattoo removal, depending on the color of tattoo. For radiation tattoos in particular, we find the PicoSure to be highly effective. The PicoSure laser works by delivering short bursts of energy at a variety of wavelengths depending on the treatment. Compared to the traditional Q-switched lasers (which were previously the most popular technology used for tattoo removal), the PicoSure laser doesn’t rely on heat or burning to melt away tattoos. The rapid, short pulsed energy penetrates tattoo colors and breaks them up into tiny particles that our lymphatic system can eliminate naturally via our urine.

Dr. Klein and Dr. Robinson are among hundreds of board certified ASLMS members who have volunteered to remove radiation marks free of charge for cancer survivors so that they can have the new beginning they deserve. Additionally, we are proud to support Pink Aid’s annual event at Mitchells in Westport and Breast Cancer Alliance Inc.’s upcoming benefit luncheon in Greenwich.