In case you are interested in photodynamic therapy, you should know that it is a kind of therapy using special drugs.
These are known as photosensitizing agents. Besides them light is also used to kill the cancerous cells. In order for the drugs to work they need to be activated with special kinds of light.
Information about photoradiation therapy
The agents can be placed into the bloodstream through the skin or a vein according to the body part that is treated.
Over time the agents are absorbed by the cancerous cells. After this the light is applied over the body part that needs treatment. As a result the drug will react with oxygen.
Because of this reaction, as a consequence of the phototherapy, there will be a chemical created that can kill the cancer cells. It could also work by destroying those blood vessels that feed the cancer.
In the same time it could also act by alerting the immune system, making it attack the cancer cells.
As it has been mentioned in case of photodynamic therapy there is a period of time between the moment when the drug is administered and the use of light. This is known as the drug-to-light interval. Depending on the drug that is used, this could be of a few hours or a few days.
Advantages and disadvantages
According to the studies regarding photo-chemotherapy, this could work just as well as radiation therapy or surgery, being able to treat different kinds of pre-cancers and cancers. The advantages that it has include no long-term side effects in case it is used as it is supposed to be.
Less invasive and more efficient
Another good thing about photodynamic therapy is that it isn’t as invasive as surgery. Most of the times it needs to be used for short periods of time and it can be used on an outpatient basis. The cancer treated can be targeted quite precisely, not harming the surrounding tissue.
A lot of people opt for therapy with photoradiation because, unlike radiation therapy, it can be repeated several times in the same site. After the site heals there will be little scarring left. One of the major advantages is that it is less expensive than the other kinds of cancer treatments.
Nonetheless we also have to add that photodynamic therapy also has its limitations. The therapy is efficient only in the places that can be reached by the light. Because of this it can treat cancer located right under the skin or under the lining of the organs. Although the drugs travel through the body, they are effective only in the places exposed to light.
Because of all this, PDT cannot be used if the cancer spreads through the body. The drugs used during the therapy make people become sensitive to light for a while so they have to take safety measures.
As you can see, photodynamic therapy is a really good option when it comes to treating different kinds of cancers.