Skin Cancer Treated With Topical Cream: Prevents Disfiguring Surgery

April 29, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Researchers found that patients suffering from the earliest stage of melanoma, called lentigo maligna, benefited from the use of a topical cream after surgery, allowing patients to undergo less invasive surgery preventing disfiguring scarring, especially with skin cancers of the head and neck. The cream named, imiquimod also helped prevent the recurrence of the cancer.

Dr. Scott Fosko, chairman of the department of dermatology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, conducted the study on two patients with cases of both early stage melanoma and later stage invasive melanoma. Both patients underwent surgery to remove the deadly invasive melanoma, while treating the area of the early stage melanoma with the cream, imiquimod.

This combined approach, using both surgery and imiquimod, reduced the need for large-scale disfiguring surgery, affording cancer patients more options. Without the use of imiquimod, skin cancers on the patients’ scalp and face would have required the removal of a large section of deep tissue, leaving the patients disfigured.

Dr. Fosko noted that as skin cancer is affecting younger patients in their 20s, 30s and 40s, in alarmingly increasing numbers, there is a longer time frame for the cancer to reoccur and a greater desire by patients to avoid disfiguring surgery. Use of a topical cream also cost less, as well as reducing unsightly scarring.

Early stage skin cancer, a type of “melanoma-in-situ,” is the most common form of skin cancer and the topical cream treatment, using imiquimod offers patients another means of attack of the disease.

With more than 1 million people in the U.S. developing skin cancer every year, doctors recommend that everyone have an annual, skin cancer screening exam. Skin cancer can develop quickly and people should be on the alert for changes in existing moles and unusual looking, asymmetrical skin lesions with variations in color and having irregular borders.

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One Response to “Skin Cancer Treated With Topical Cream: Prevents Disfiguring Surgery”

  1. Skin Cancer Treated With Topical Cream: Prevents Disfiguring Surgery < It’s all about the trends on May 1st, 2009 1:36 am

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