Photo Dynamic Therapy Information for Skin cancer
You have been prescribed PDT or Photo Dynamic Therapy. PDT is a non-surgical treatment of skin cancer or pre-cancerous lesions. This is a treatment for non-melanoma skin cancers.
It is effective and has several benefits over conventional treatment approaches:
- It is as effective as surgery but superior to cryotherapy
- It is selective for cancerous tissue
- It is non-invasive and non-scaring
- It can be used repeatedly if necessary
- Cosmetic results are superior to all comparable treatments.
So you could either have Solar Keratosis or a Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) or a Bowens (very superficial squamous cell carcinoma). Solar Keratosis is usually red and scaly and occurs most commonly on the face, the head (in balding men) and the forearms and hands. Initially they come and go but finally they are there all the time. If left untreated ± 1% to 20% of those lesions turn into skin cancer per year – that's why we treat them!
A BCC or Bowen is already skin cancer and BCC's occur most commonly on the face and back while Bowen's is usually found on the arms and legs. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer worldwide and in particular in our country. Almost everybody has had enough sun damage in their lives to develop skin cancer when we get older.
The most common treatment for Solar Keratosis is Liquid Nitrogen (freezing them), while skin cancers are usually removed surgically. This obviously leads to scarring, which can be subtle if well done but nevertheless as skin cancers are almost always multiple this can be a major cosmetic problem. This is why PDT was developed in Europe: To find a treatment which is equally effective but doesn't leave you with scars.