Phototherapy is a very effective treatment both in precancerous lesions and in non-melanoma skin cancer, for example, basal cell carcinomas, which are skin tumors more frequent and one of the causes of skin cancer.
According to Dr. Pedro Jaén, Head of the Dermatology Department of the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid , Spain, phototherapy is not only less invasive than other treatments for the various causes of skin cancer , but also, it affects exclusively the tumor cells, not the healthy tissue.
This is due, explains the expert, to that only the malignant cells of the skin absorb the photosensitizing agent and, therefore, only these are eliminated after the application of light.
Phototherapy is used mainly in actinic keratoses, which are lesions (scaly or crusted, red or brown) pre-cancerous skin lesions caused by exposure to the sun's rays throughout life; They appear mostly on the face, ears, neck, hands, forearms and lips.
To be able to apply this therapy, the requirements are: that it is indicated by the specialist doctor (it is contraindicated in pregnant women and patients with lupus), that the hospital has this technology and that the patient can 'invest' about three hours of his time in this treatment, the dermatologist indicates.
"First apply a photosensitizer in the form of cream or gel.We must let this agent act on the body of the patient for three hours and, finally, is exposed to the light of the phototherapy for about 7 or 8 minutes. "
Another advantage of this therapy, adds the dermatologist, is that "you do not have to treat the injuries individually, as it happens with cryotherapy, but it is applied in a more extended way, by zones".
In this way, phototherapy is a very effective treatment against other therapies that help reduce several of the causes of skin cancer, However, in this case, its side effects are much lower, since it only generates a little inflammation in the tissue, which disappears after two or three days.