Skin cancer gets brushed off as a simple cancer far too often. While there are quite a few methods of treatments, not all of them are quick and easy. One of the skin cancer treatments that requires a bit of time is topical chemotherapy. For more serious cases of skin cancer, topical chemotherapy is one of the more effective treatments that is offered.

What is topical chemotherapy?

While most people think of radiation and horrible side effects when they hear the word “chemotherapy,” topical chemotherapy is much more gentle, but equally as effective. Usually for stronger cases of skin cancer, topical chemotherapy is a great method that is easy to do over time. Standard chemotherapy incorporates anti-cancer drugs to break down and destroy any cancerous cells. With topical chemotherapy, you are using a lotion or cream of sorts that you apply directly to the lesion to in turn destroy the cancerous cells. This cream will contain a drug known as 5-fluorouracil.

How do I apply the topical chemotherapy cream?

Topical chemotherapy is exactly what it sounds like, topical. It is usually a cream or lotion that is applied directly to the area infected by the cancerous cells. If this is the treatment that you choose, your doctor will show you exactly how to apply it and where to apply it, but other than that, you will be entirely capable of applying the cream on your own in the comfort of your home. When you choose this as the method that you’d like to use to tackle your skin cancer, we will walk you through the process of applying this topical chemotherapy cream to the lesion. If you have any questions, we can help you along the way.

How does topical chemotherapy work?

This form of skin cancer treatment uses anti-cancer drugs that are used to destroy the cancer cells. Once the cream is applied, you let it sit and the drugs do the work on their own. After a few applications of the topical chemotherapy, the infected area will look a swollen, red and weepy. At this time it’s best to stop treatment until you can visit with your dermatologist again.

If you’re curious about the topical chemotherapy treatment for your skin cancer, feel free to call our office. We can set up an appointment for you to talk with one of our dermatologists and determine whether or not this treatment is truly a good method for you. We can also go over a few of the other skin cancer treatments that we offer and see if any of those sound like a better fit.

Are there any specific precautions to this skin cancer treatment?

Chemotherapy will leave your skin swollen, inflamed and red. When exposed to sun, these signs and symptoms will be even more noticeable, so protecting the cancerous area from the sun is incredibly important.

After applying the cream twice a day for a couple of weeks, the area should become tender and a bit weepy, your dermatologist can recommend stopping the treatment. Overall, this procedure should take no more than two to three weeks to heal from the topical chemotherapy cream. If you are unsure as to whether or not this is a suitable skin cancer treatment for you, schedule your appointment with Azeal Dermatology Institute today. We would be more than happy to guide you through the process of this treatment and all of factors that are a part of it.