Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Skin Cancer Treatments

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is treatment  for superficial types of skin cancer. PDT is effective in treating solar keratoses, squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen’s disease) and superficial basal cell carcinomas. It has a cure rate of approximately 80%.

PDT or photodynamic therapy is the application of a cream (which contains a chemical that is more selectively absorbed by abnormal cells in comparison to normal tissue) to the lesion to be treated. The chemical in the cream is then activated by exposure to a specific wavelength of light which destroys the abnormal cells leaving normal tissue unaffected. PDT can either be daylight activated or Lamp activated. Usually 2 treatments are given, 1 week apart.

Other non-surgical skin cancer treatments (Aldara and Efudix) are equally as effective as PDT.
PDT has 2 advantages , compared to Aldara and Efudix. The  red crusted stage is of shorter duration 1-2 weeks, compared to Aldabra or Efudix, which maybe 4-10 weeks.

Also PDT usually has a better cosmetic outcome. Aldara may leave a large permanent white mark, whereas PDT usually does not.

The disadvantage of PDT is the expense, approximately $600 
You can find our more on PDT or photodynamic therapy

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