Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a topical treatment that uses light to destroy cancer cells. Skin care treatments like PDT are not widely used to treat cancer yet, but they are becoming more popular for localized instances of the disease. To help you learn more about PDT, the experienced dermatologists at Derm One PLLC in Princeton, WV, offer the informative guide below.
Combating Cancer With Skin Care Treatments
What Is Photodynamic Therapy?
PDT uses photosensitizing agents and light to incite a reaction with oxygen. This reaction produces a chemical that can kill certain cancer cells. According to the American Cancer Society, PDT can be as effective as radiation therapy and surgery when treating certain kinds of cancer; however, it has both advantages and disadvantages.
As far as benefits of the procedure go, PDT is less invasive than surgery and tends to be more affordable than radiation. Additionally, it can target precise areas on the body and leaves no scarring after the treatment site heals.
PDT has limitations when it comes to treating cancer, though. For example, because the photosensitizing agents require activation, the treatment can only target areas that light can reach. As such, providers can only use it to treat conditions like skin cancer or to target cells just under the skin.
How Is PDT Administered?
During PDT skin care treatments, patients take porfimer sodium intravenously. This drug remains in the cancer cells, and it has the power to destroy them after it is activated with light approximately two to three days later. Depending on the size of the treatment area, the light may be applied for anywhere from five to 40 minutes.
If you want to learn more about PDT, turn to the professionals at Derm One PLLC in Princeton, WV. Visit their website to explore the skin care treatments and procedures they offer, and call (304) 425-9448 to schedule an appointment today.