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Molescreen PDT specialises in diagnosing and treating skin cancer and sunspots. Queensland is the skin cancer capital
of the world. Most people who have been raised in Queensland will have some form of skin cancer during their lives.

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pdt actinic disease


Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for the treatment of actinic disease.

We are all exposed to ultra-violate light from the sun. Sunlight damages the skin in two ways. The most obvious is sun burn which is probably the cause of most melanomas in Queensland. The second way it causes damage is by chronic sunlight exposure that occurs on a daily basis almost without us realising it, this exposure is often mild and incidental and may be by way of reflected sunlight. Ultraviolate light damages our DNA and eventually causes skin cancer. Precancerous changes occur initially and we refer to these as actinic keratoses or sun spots. After further exposure actinic skin cancer develops.

Actinic disease is seen on exposed skin and may vary from mild dry red patches to thick non-melanoma skin cancers such as BCC, SCC, Bowen’s Disease and keratoacanthomas (KA). Actinic disease affects everyone living in Queensland sooner or later and is caused by accumulated chronic ultra-violate light exposure.

PDT is a form of treatment for actinic disease. The PDT process involves applying a sensitising agent (Metvix) to the area to be treated and applying a specific light.

Since 2003 we have been treating sunspots (actinic keratosis or solar keratoses) and thin non-melanoma skin cancers with Metvix activated by red light. Whilst it is very effective (and necessary for skin cancer) it can be painful when applied to large areas and result in significant redness and peeling.

In 2014 Australia’s TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved Metvix activated by sunlight. This form of PDT was developed in Europe, particularly northern Europe where the sun is a lot less harmful; sunlight there contains far less ultra-violate light and has a significantly lower intensity of light than Queensland.

Working with a light physicist we have developed a safer alternative to sunlight. Daylight PDT is painless and causes minimal redness and peeling. It takes about 3 hours in total and involves exposure to white actinic light for 2 hours.

On your arrival in the treatment room the nurse will clean the area to be treated and after application of Metvix the light treatment is started. Metvix is progressively absorbed by the skin and accumulates in sun damaged skin where on stimulation by the treatment light it releases singlet oxygen molecules which are cytotoxic (fatal) to cancer and precancerous cells. This means that the treatment is targeted at abnormal cells sparing normal cells.

Goggles are worn to protect the eyes from blue light which is a major a component of white light. The pupil does not react well to blue light and will potentially remain dilated allowing large amounts of blue light to enter the eye and cause damage. The Daylight PDT process is identical to the TGA approved process except for the substitution of actinic light instead of sunlight.

Sun Damaged Skin Video

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