In Australia skin cancer contributes to 80% of total cancer diagnoses, making it the most common type of cancer.
Exposure to the sun is the highest cause of skin cancer, equating to 95-99%. Sun damage to your skin collects from the day you are born. At its worst, sun damage can result in skin cancer that requires surgery. For most people, sun damage is reflected in the fine lines, wrinkles and spots that accumulate as you age.
Although some skin cancers can be potentially fatal, effective treatments are available, including Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). PDT targets and treats sun damaged cells and skin cancers, including:
- Melanoma – blotchy and freckle-like in appearance
- Nodular Melanoma – may appear as a mole
- Basal Cell Cacinoma – dark skin-colour, scaly area or raised lump
- Squamous cell carcinoma– pink scaly area, appear crusty and prone to bleeding
What is photodynamic therapy used for?
Photodynamic therapy or PDT is a treatment that specifically targets the damaged cells in your skin. It uses a combination of a special lotion applied to your skin and a low intensity light system that activates the medication, killing sun damaged cells and skin cancers.
How therapy works?
There are three parts to your PDT treatment: Apply the medication, allow the medication to react with your skin, and allow the skin to react with the light.
The medication is called 5-ALA, or 5- Alpha Levulinic Acid.
Some discomfort may be experienced during the light treatment. Higher levels of discomfort correlate to the degree of sun damage. Typically, discomfort fades quickly after the treatment – sometimes aspirin or paracetamol may be required.
What to expect after photodynamic therapy?
Your skin will feel like a sunburn. The degree of discomfort and redness can vary greatly. A greater reaction to treatment also usually indicates a more dramatic result.
For the first day, cool compresses will help limit discomfort. Moisturisers to hydrate and soothe the skin can be used as necessary. In some cases a second episode of treatment may be required some weeks later.
How much does photodynamic therapy cost?
As all individuals have different skin and conditions prices for photodynamic at The Cosmedic & Skin Clinic vary. To find out more about pricing and details please contact us on (07) 5588 4777.