Treatment for Superficial Skin Cancers: Metvix Photodynamic Therapy

Skin cancer is the most preventable forms of the disease yet remains among the most prevalent, especially since many individuals love outdoor activities or sun-tanning, all of which can increase the risk for skin cancer.  Properly and frequently applying sun protectant can prevent cancerous skin lesions, but it’s easy to forget sunscreen as a part of your everyday routine or to re-apply it after being in the water. And with recent reports on the safety of some sunscreens’ chemicals on our health and the environment, it seems easier to just go without.

This lackadaisical feeling about the need for sunscreen is exactly what makes regular check-ins with your dermatologist so important. These appointments help provide early detection and treatment of any lesions. Depending on the stage and depth of skin cancer, one such treatment that may be recommended is Metvix Photodynamic Therapy.

The Science Behind Photodynamic Therapy

Also known as PDT, photodynamic therapy uses a combination of light-activated medications to treat cancerous cells. During your appointment, the medication is applied via a simple injection, allowing it to be absorbed and passed by normal cells. In cancerous cells, however, the medication lasts longer, allowing specialists to clearly identify areas that require treatment. Patients return two to three days following the application of the medication, during which time our specialist applies light at a specific wavelength in order to activate the photosensitizers and release oxygen, effectively treating the problematic cells.

Compared to other forms of skin cancer treatment, PDT has some distinct differences. As light can only penetrate so far into the skin, photodynamic therapy is best for superficial cancers, or cancers where the malignant cells are just under the skin. Patients who visited a doctor quickly to examine a suspicious lesion and received early intervention are excellent candidates for PDT. Recent studies suggest the treatment helps stimulate the immune system in attacking cancer cells, making it highly effective at restoring your skin’s health and physical well-being.

What Sets Metvix Apart

Metvix is among one of many new and successful PDT options patients seeking skin cancer treatment. In the 10 years since initial successful clinical trials, the brand has become among the top options for treating precancerous cells and basal cell carcinoma.

Like other photodynamic therapies, Metvix uses light and light-activated medications to pinpoint abnormal cells. However, the unique formula of Metvix topically penetrates cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions more deeply, allowing for better and targeted treatment during the final stage of treatment. Some patients experience significant results only six months following their last treatment.

As a result of its non-invasive treatment methods, Metvix treatment creates minimal, if any, scarring post-treatment and supports better overall aesthetics. The procedure is completed in office and can be performed annually, making it an excellent preventive treatment for precancerous cells.

Get Your Screening Today

Preventing skin cancer with a well-rounded skin care routine and regular dermatology check-ups is critical in protecting your overall health. Luckily, innovations in precancerous treatment therapy like Metvix have made it possible for patients to proactively address early-stage cancer as soon as it’s identified. To learn more about the signs of skin cancer and available treatment solutions, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with the Oakville dermatologist at ICLS. Together, we’ll help you and your healthcare team identify the right treatment solution early.