When asking about the photo-dynamic therapy side effects, you should know that this is a kind of therapy offered to the cancer patients and to the patients with conditions that could develop into cancer.

During the therapy lasers or other light sources are used along with a drug that is light sensitive.


How does it work?

In order to understand the side effects of photo-dynamic therapy it is good to know that the drugs come with photo sensitizing agent so that they become sensitive to light. This drug is attracted to the cancer cells. When the drug is exposed to a given type of light, it gets activated and the cancer cells are destroyed.

When it comes to the adverse effects of photo-dynamic therapy it is important to remember that in the moment when the drug is activated it is possible for some of the normal and healthy cells to be affected as well, this being one of the side effects. However, the good news is that the normal cells heal after the treatment.

Photo-dynamic therapy side effects

Just as in case of any kind of treatment, there is a list of possible side effects. However these can vary from one person to the other.

The method of the treatment and the side effects vary depending on the body part that is treated, the kind of drug used, the amount of time between the use of the drug, and the use of the light and skin sensitivity after using the therapy.

When is it used?

As it has been mentioned before, it is possible to see the photo-dynamic therapy adverse effects if someone is affected by cancer or some kind of condition that could develop into cancer. It can also be used to treat cancer, the affected area or in the surrounding area near the lining of the affected organ.

The photo-dynamic therapy side effects can usually be seen if the affected organ includes the gullet, gall bladder, bile duct, lung, head, neck or skin, except for melanoma. At the moment the specialists are trying to find the types of cancer that the treatment is the most effective for.

Precancerous conditions

The PTD side effects can be seen in case of patients with precancerous conditions such as Bowen’s disease or Barrett’s esophagus. Some of the researches show that PTD can also help with the cancer cells affecting the vulva, the anus or the vagina.


In case the photo-dynamic therapy side effects are seen at the early stages of cancer, then the main point is to cure the cancer. If the cancer is at more advanced stages, then the aim is to reduce the size of the cancer and to get rid of the symptoms. Your doctor will be able to tell whether PTD is suitable for you.

When considering the side effects of PTD remember that the treatment is always given in two distinct stages.

As you can see, the photo-dynamic therapy side effects can vary from one case to the other.