Photodynamic therapy—or blue light therapy, as it is also sometimes referred to in dermatology applications—is a form of cancer therapy that uses a combination of drugs and light to destroy cancer cells in the body. It is often used by dermatologists as a way of treating precancerous lesions that have the potential to change into cancer down the line. In this application, it is used as a preventative therapy; it can also be used to eliminate cancerous cells in the skin.
More than one drug may be used in photodynamic therapy treatments, and the one selected will be a decision made in tandem with your dermatologist after an evaluation. A custom-tailored approach will be used for each patient based on what they need.
Photodynamic therapy treatment uses
Dermatology is one of the fields employing blue light therapy the most often, as it has proven to be a good match in terms treating skin cancer and precancerous lesions. We have enthusiastically adopted this particular treatment at our office in Loveland because we have seen it work with so many patients. While it may not be appropriate for everyone, it does have a wide range of applications.
As a noninvasive option, we prefer photodynamic therapy in cases where we would otherwise have to perform surgery. As a relatively painless treatment, it also gets high marks for patient comfort. Those who are extremely light sensitive or have certain other issues may not make good candidates for photodynamic therapy. We will help you determine that when you come to our office for evaluation, and we can answer any questions or concerns you may have about this treatment option, as well.
Photodynamic therapy treatment process
Photodynamic therapy is a form of treatment often used by dermatologists to address cancerous or precancerous areas of skin. It works through a combination of photosensitive drugs and light application, targeting problem areas and eliminating cells that are of concern. The drugs are either injected into veins or applied to the skin directly, depending on the one being used. Either way, cancerous types of cells hold more of these drugs for a longer period than normal cells, so there is often a waiting period before the light is applied. This helps ensure that normal cells will receive little damage and cancer cells will receive the strongest dose.
Photodynamic therapy works well in this type of application, because light can easily be applied to the skin to activate the drugs that destroy any problematic cell growth. This type of treatment is easy to target, does not require surgery, and can be done as an outpatient procedure. When performed by a licensed professional, there are no long-term side effects.
If you think you may be interested in photodynamic therapy as a treatment option, please contact our office in Loveland today to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist. We will be glad to see if you are a good match.
Contact us about a photodynamic therapy appointment!