We're now offering a new non-surgical treatment for skin cancers and solar keratoses which offers excellent cosmetic results (DermNet NZ 2007).
Photodynamic therapy involves the use of a topical drug which when activated by light is toxic to cancer and sun-damaged cells but has minimal effect on surrounding normal skin.
Benefits of photodynamic therapy:
- For treating skin cancers, the cosmetic result is usually superior to any other treatment (i.e. surgery, cryotherapy, topical creams)
- Treats an area of sun-damaged skin (e.g. an entire face) rather than targeting individual spots
- In most cases, treatment only requires a single visit to the clinic (although a follow-up visit is usually required in order to assess treatment results)
- No need to apply cream daily or twice daily for 4-6 weeks
- Minimal discomfort after treatment; skin irritation usually settles within days
- Some private health insurers pay a rebate for this treatment
If you have a skin cancer or sun damage suitable for photodynamic therapy, your doctor will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment.