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What are the Potential Side Effects of Photodynamic Therapy

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When it comes to cancer treatment, patients and practitioners alike are constantly seeking novel approaches that offer effective outcomes with minimal side effects. At the Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX, our caring team believes in providing comprehensive cancer care that combines cutting-edge technologies with a holistic approach that prioritizes patients' well-being. With this in mind, we are proud to offer photodynamic therapy (PDT) for patients with certain types of cancer who may not tolerate the side effects of traditional cancer treatments. Still, it is important to understand that treatments, including PDT, may pose some risk of side effects — like swelling, redness, and other localized symptoms at the treatment site. Here, you'll find a helpful guide to PDT, including how treatment works, who may be eligible for PDT, and what other potential risks may be encountered.

What is PDT for cancer treatment?

PDT is a minimally invasive treatment that utilizes photosensitizing agents and light to target and destroy cancer cells. The process involves administering a photosensitizing drug, which selectively accumulates in cancerous tissue, followed by exposure to specific wavelengths of light. This interaction generates reactive oxygen species, causing localized cell death within the tumor while preserving surrounding healthy tissue.

Who is a candidate for PDT?

PDT is extremely versatile and can be considered an appropriate option for certain patients across various cancer types and stages. Generally speaking, candidates for PDT include those with superficial cancers, such as skin, lung, esophageal, and bladder cancers, as well as certain types of head and neck cancers. Additionally, PDT may be suitable for patients with precancerous conditions or those seeking palliative care to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. During your initial consultation for holistic cancer care in Grapevine, TX, our knowledgeable team will evaluate your case, discuss your concerns and goals, review your health and medical history, and collaborate with your medical team to determine whether PDT may be a beneficial and suitable addition to your cancer care treatment plan.

Is PDT safe?

While no treatment is devoid of side effects, PDT offers a favorable safety profile compared to many conventional cancer therapies. Common side effects of PDT may include:

  • Temporary skin sensitivity to light
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Localized discomfort at the treatment site

These effects typically resolve within a few days to weeks post-procedure, with minimal long-term repercussions. Moreover, PDT-induced side effects are generally milder and shorter-lived compared to those associated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

Can PDT be used in combination with chemotherapy?

In many cases, PDT complements conventional cancer treatments, enhancing therapeutic outcomes while mitigating side effects. Whether used as a standalone therapy or in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, PDT offers patients the opportunity to maximize efficacy and minimize treatment-related burdens. Again, our team will consult with your oncologist and other medical team members to determine whether PDT may be right for you.

Minimize cancer care side effects with photodynamic therapy in Grapevine, TX

Whether you're unable to tolerate the side effects of chemotherapy and other conventional cancer treatments, you have a weakened immune system, or you're considering PDT for any number of other reasons, our experienced team of functional medicine and holistic cancer care specialists is here to help. Start the process of adding PDT to your cancer treatment plan today by calling the Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX to schedule your private consultation with one of our caring providers.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.