About Topical Chemotherapy
When skin cancer is caught in the early stages, you'll typically have more treatment options. One treatment for non-melanoma cancer in the upper layers of the skin is topical chemotherapy. A medicated cream that can be applied at home, topical chemotherapy treatments may be recommended by skin cancer specialist Dr. Aradhna Saxena if you have been diagnosed with actinic keratosis (precancerous skin lesion), basal cell carcinoma (BCC), or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). To learn more about topical chemotherapy and other skin cancer treatments at the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute, contact one of our offices in Fort Washington, Lansdale, or Willow Grove, PA.
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Topical chemotherapy is a nonsurgical treatment that effectively destroys precancerous and cancerous cells in the top layer of the skin. You may be a candidate for topical chemotherapy if you are diagnosed with actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, or squamous cell carcinoma. Topical chemotherapy allows patients to avoid scars from surgery. It is also a restricted exposure to chemotherapy, so the treatment does not cause side effects in the whole body. Topical chemotherapy is not recommended if you have a more aggressive form of skin cancer or if the cancer has spread beyond the upper skin layers.
You will be able to apply your topical chemotherapy treatment on your own in the privacy of your home. The cream is typically applied once or twice a day for several weeks. You should expect the treatment area to appear raw, and you may feel some discomfort, as the medicine destroys cancerous and precancerous cells on the skin. You will have to return periodically to our office for follow-up appointments with Dr. Saxena. She will assess the progress of your treatment, look for any signs of concern or reactions, and adjust your treatment as needed. During these follow-up visits, Dr. Saxena will also be better able to estimate the remaining length of your treatment.
What to Expect
You will need to make sure you are caring for your skin both during and after your topical chemotherapy treatment. Certain moisturizers, such as those made with petroleum jelly, may be helpful to soothe your skin. Once your treatment is complete, Dr. Saxena will give you suggestions on how to help your skin recover. You should be vigilant about using sun protection after your treatment to avoid a recurrence of skin cancer.
Plan Your Procedure
A New Way to Treat Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with precancerous cells or skin cancer in the top layers of your skin, learn more about topical chemotherapy treatments at the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute. Board-certified dermatologist and skin cancer specialist Dr. Saxena may be able to treat your skin cancer with a medicated cream that you'll use in the privacy of your home. We urge men and women in the Greater Philadelphia area to schedule a consultation to find out if topical chemotherapy is for you.