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Photodynamic therapy or PDT is a relatively new and non-invasive treatment for non melanomaskin cancer. It is mostly used in cases where the cancer is superficial and has not spread too deep. PDT is used mostly to treat Actinic Keratoses on the face and scalp, Basal cell carcinomas, Bowen’s disease, as well as other conditions such as head and neck, mouth, lung and gullet cancer.
How does it work?
This treatment involves the use of a drug known as photosensitize or a photosensitizing agent with a specific type of light. When the photosensitizing agents get exposed to a light of a specific wavelength, a form of oxygen is produced, which eliminates nearby cancer cells. Every photosensitizer gets activated by the special light. The wavelength of the light determines how much it can penetrate into the body.
Process of Photodynamic therapy
Skin cancer is cured by PDT in several steps. The first step involves the injection of a photosensitizer into the patient’s bloodstream. The blood cells absorb the agent all over the body, but in the cancer cells, it stays for a longer duration. Within 72 hours after the injection is given, the skin is exposed to light. The photosensitizer agent present in the cancer affected cells absorbs the light. An active oxygen form gets produced, which kills the cancer cells.
Other than killing the cancer cells directly, PDT uses two other ways to destroy cancerous tumors. The blood vessels in the tumor are affected, which leads to its death. The immune system also gets charged up and activated for fighting the cancer cells.
The light used for PDT is usually in the form of a laser. LEDs are also used to treat tumors present on the surface of the skin. The primary photosensitizing agent used in PDT is called porfimer sodium or Photofrin.
PDT can be undertaken in the outpatient department in a hospital. After taking the treatment, you have to keep the cancer affected area of the skin dry and covered for 36 hours. The area should be treated with care while showering. In case of thick skin lesions, repeat treatments are required within 4 weeks.
When is PDT used for skin cancer
PDT can be undertaken instead of surgery for treating basal cell cancer, Bowen’s disease and actinic keratosis. PDT is used in cases where surgeries are required. It is used to treat large skin cancers, which are not very deep and in the case when several cancers develop in an area. For many skin conditions, PDT is a better remedy than undergoing a surgery.
Advantages of PDT
- There are no long term side effects.
- The process is less invasive compared to surgery.
- A very short time is taken for this therapy to be undertaken.
- The process can be repeated several times in the same area.
- Very less scarring takes place in the affected area.
- The cost of this procedure is lesser than surgery.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.
- The cost of this procedure is lesser than surgery.
Sir I have a health problem I have fungal infection. I had consulted many doctors due to this issue for the past 1 year. It is increasing day by day. I'm Using many ointments and tablets. So please suggest me a good solution.
I am 20 year old girl, I'm suffering from itching on breast. Now-a-days its too much, I have not yet taken any precaution. Let me know what best I can do. I wondering whether it is breast cancer or not. Please do let me know.
My stomach is giving pain to me. My continent colour is dark chocolaty. I'm not feeling well. Please help.
Hi I got an accident last 2 years back and I get plastic surgery on forehead and it was a big scar can I suggest how to remove d scar and what type of gel I apply pls can me suggest.
I had natural fair complexion in my childhood. But now due to tan I lost the complexion. Is der any homemade natural face pack to remove the tan?
According to Ayurveda, skin problems arise due to imbalance in the tridoshas, which is vata, pitta and kapha. People having a vata constitution are the ones who possess dry and dull skin. While a healthy diet is necessary for a beautiful skin, here are some natural herbs that are considered excellent for keeping the skin clean and clear.
- Sandalwood: Sandalwood or chandan is a very useful Ayurvedic herb which helps in skin lightening. It is generally used in the treatment of several skin conditions such as acne, scrapes, blemishes, rashes and many others. It is a good remedy for itchy skin. Sandalwood leaves a cooling effect on the skin after external application. It also calms the body after exposure to the sun. Sandalwood powder can be used in the form of a lotion, soap or paste meant for hydrating and cleansing the skin.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is renowned for its blood purifying properties and gives a natural glow to the skin along with enhanced radiance. Turmeric consists of anti ageing and antibacterial properties and is used in cases of several skin diseases. Turmeric helps in reducing acne, blemishes, pigmentation and skin inflammation. It helps in slowing down the ageing process of the skin. You can apply turmeric paste on your face in the form of a facial.
- Aloe Vera: This herb is commonly used in beauty products. It has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and cooling properties and is an ideal herb for skin care. Aloe Vera treats skin conditions such as pimples, acne, burns, infections, rashes, allergies, blisters, insect bites and dry skin. Aloe Vera gel provides skin protection and helps in cooling, which reduces any inflammation. Sunburns are also treated by this wonderful herb.
- Saffron or Kesar: This herb is a very effective skin whitening agent and can be used along with olive oil for the purpose of lightening the skin. Kesar can also be applied to the skin by mixing it with milk and olive oil.
- Kumkumadi Oil: This oil is very useful for making skin fairer. This oil is made by the combination of sixteen Ayurvedic ingredients and also helps in removal of marks and prevents skin tanning. This oil can be applied to the skin directly.
- Cucumber: Cucumber is an ideal skin coolant and also contains antiseptic properties. It provides great skin nourishment. Having anti ageing properties, it makes you look younger and treats fine lines and wrinkles as well.
- Basil: Basil or tulsi has antiseptic properties, acts as a natural astringent and makes the skin fresh. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ayurveda.