Home Health What is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and Its Benefits?

What is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and Its Benefits?

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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a non-invasive surgical treatment for different medical conditions including certain types of cancer. As a skin cancer treatment, such as esophageal cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer, and pre-skin cancer lesion, PDT is preventive and treatment technology that is to treat cancerous conditions as well as precancerous conditions such as Actinic Keratosis. Actinic Keratosis is a pre-cancer, which forms when cells in the epidermis begin to grow abnormally.

Up to 10% of Actinic Keratosis become Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Moreover, PDT may be slightly more effective than Cryotherapy for treating lesions. PDT is used to treat Kaposi Sarcoma lesions, and it is an alternative to surgery for low-risk thin basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Photo Dynamic Therapy involves two components, a drug or a substance generally labeled as a photosensitizing agent, and a special type of light. Also referred to as blue light or photo-chemotherapy. Photodynamic therapy, performed in Dermatologists, uses various kinds of light such as laser, blue light, and LED to activate the components of the drugs used in the process. The light targets and eliminates the abnormal cells by destroying them. 

If PTD is placed in a comparison with other methods or technologies of skin cancer treatments, it will stand out as much cheaper and safer. In fact, unlike radiotherapy, it would not risk a patient’s health if applied on the same spot more multiple times. Although there are side effects, these ideally subside within a few days after the treatment and they are sensitivity to light and burning sensation in some cases. PDT is an outpatient procedure and patients are allowed to go back to normal activities following the treatment so long as they avoid direct sun exposure for the period advised by the skin specialist or the treating dermatologist. 

Not a very long time ago, Photodynamic Therapy has shown great results in treating Rosacea, age wrinkles, face lines, sun damage, and discolorations such as age spots. Photodynamic acne therapy is proving its popularity these days as an alternative to topical ointments and medications for the treatment of mild to moderate acne.

Among the many benefits that PDT offers, these stand out: 

  • Unknown long-term side effects with proper administration. 
  • Performed as an outpatient procedure over a short time and no hospitalization needed.
  • Safe to be repeated if necessary. 
  • Less invasive and more accurate compared to other treatments. 
  • Cost-effective compared to other treatments.

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