Photodynamic Therapy

Hearing the words, “You have skin cancer,” feels like a gut punch, flooding your mind with questions, like, “How intense will treatment be? How will my life change?” Before you go down that rabbit hole, turn to Palm Beach Dermatology Group. Our highly credentialed doctors in Delray Beach offer photodynamic therapy (PDT) to patients with skin cancer.

This FDA-approved, non-invasive treatment uses light energy and photosynthesizing agents to kill cancer cells. Those with pre-cancer lesions may also qualify to undergo this procedure. Find out more about your options when you reach out to us today at (561) 421-4143.

Have Skin Cancer?
What Is
Photodynamic Therapy?

 

Photodynamic therapy is a two-stage treatment that uses special drugs called photosynthesizers, as well as light, to destroy pre-cancer and cancer cells. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), these drugs only work when certain types of lights activate them. The doctor will put the photosynthesizers, usually in the form of a cream, directly on the skin.

After a certain amount of time, the cancer cells should absorb the drugs, so we will shed light on the affected area.

 

 

The light triggers a certain type of oxygen molecule to form, and its main purpose is to kill cancer cells. Blood vessels that strengthen cancer cells may also prompt the immune system to start attacking them.

At Palm Beach Dermatology Group, we suggest this therapy as part of your treatment plan if you suffer from non-melanoma skin cancers, like actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, and Bowen’s disease. How many sessions you receive will depend on the cancer you have or which cancer you’re at risk of further developing.

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Benefits
The Benefits of Undergoing PDT
PDT has shown success for patients. Some of the benefits they enjoy include:
It doesn’t have any long-lasting side effects.
The doctor can accurately and precisely target the problem areas.
Since it’s typically performed as an outpatient procedure, it won’t take up your whole day. According to Cleveland Clinic, it can take anywhere between 15 to 90 minutes.
Your doctor can administer this therapy multiple times, unlike radiation.
It’s not as invasive as surgeries.
You’ll experience very minimal or no scarring.
When you meet with our doctors, they will walk you through the entire process, from what you can do to prepare for the procedure to how to go about dealing with recovery.
Effects
The Potential Side Effects
of PDT

Patients can suffer from discomfort following a PDT session. The ACS says that it can manifest in the following ways:

  • Light sensitivity: Patients who undergo PDT are most likely to develop a high sensitivity to sunlight or bright light. You may develop a rash or burning or tingling sensation on the area where the photosynthesizer was applied. Stay inside as much as possible. Make sure you wear long sleeves and a hat if you need to go in the sun following your treatment. Wearing sunscreen will not do the trick.
  • Swelling: You may notice the treated area will begin to swell, itch, or cause pain following the PDT session.
  • Changes in the skin: The skin in and around the treated area may turn red for a while. You might even get blisters. Give it a few hours or even a few days for it to calm down.
  • Changes to the immune system: Since it’s attacking cancer cells, the PDT may trigger your immune system to work harder. This stimulation can weaken it, so you might get a cold or feel fatigued a few days after the session.

Talk to one of our doctors to learn more about what to expect during and after PDT. If you develop a side effect that we haven’t listed here, seek medical attention right away

PDT Can Heal Other Conditions

PDT doesn’t just benefit patients suffering from skin cancer or pre-cancerous lesions. Our team may determine that you’re a good candidate for this method if you deal with:

  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Vitiligo
  • Eczema

Patients who have these conditions may notice their associated symptoms subside after undergoing PDT.

Doctors

Why Choose Our Doctors
in Delray Beach to Perform
PDT to Treat Your Skin Cancer

Palm Beach Dermatology Group keeps up with the latest technological advancements in the medical field, and that includes PDT. This procedure is a relatively new treatment, but since its genesis within the last century, it has shown to be effective in treating all kinds of cancers within a few short sessions. Our Ivy League-educated doctors could not pass up the opportunity to incorporate this easy, non-invasive procedure into so many of our patients’ treatment plans.

Our team understands that you may still feel a little apprehensive when you come in for your appointment. After all, it is cancer treatment. However, when you walk through the wide front doors of our office, we will treat you like our family. You’ll take a seat in our large comfortable waiting room, but you won’t be there long. We make sure to work quickly and efficiently so we can get you in and out of our office as soon as possible.

While you go through the procedure and even afterward, we will keep your skincare goals at the forefront of our minds. Our doctors set out to provide care that you can access at any point in life. We believe that everyone, no matter their age or background, deserves to feel their best in beautiful and healthy skin.

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