At Advanced Dermatology, Inc., we are dedicated to offering you the best and most advanced treatment options for your skin cancer. Our Dana Point dermatologist wants you to know about photodynamic therapy and how it can be utilized for addressing skin cancer. Dr. Maryam Moinfar and Dr. Jeffrey K. Lander, both board certified dermatologists, are dedicated to treating you and to affecting the best possible outcome for your skin cancer.
Photodynamic therapy is a method of treating skin cancer that uses light along with photosensitizing agents, which are special drugs specifically for this purpose. The drugs become active when exposed to particular light. There are two ways it can be applied and it depends upon the part of your body that has been affected by skin cancer. One way it is used is by our Dana Point dermatologist putting the drug on your skin and the other way is an injection into the bloodstream directly through a vein. The drug becomes absorbed into the cancer cells after which light is utilized on the effected area. This spurs the drug to react with oxygen and it becomes a chemical that kills the cancerous cells. Another way it can work is on the blood vessels that feed the cancer cells. The drug destroys those blood vessels and it spurs your immune system to action so that it attacks the cancer cells.
There is a time lapse between the application of the drug and the use of the light to activate it. This is known as the drug to light interval. Our Dana Point dermatologist will determine that interval, which will be dictated by the drug that is used. In some cases it is a few hours, but it can sometimes be as much as a day or two.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a good candidate for photodynamic therapy. If you have specific blood diseases like porphyrias or you are allergic to porphyrins, you would be unable to undergo the process. Our Dana Point dermatologist will discuss your health history with you and determine if you have any risks that would preclude you from it.