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Actinic Keratosis

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Actinic Keratosis Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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ask: Cryo-surgery or PDT therapy for Actinic Keratoses???

By Anonymous
 
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I've just been told I have one of these and my Dermatologist wants to do a biopsy and then proceed with PDT. I had breastcancer five years ago and still doing well and in remission from that. I'm just wondering if and why other people chose one form of treatment over another??? New to this and would be grateful for any advice.

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Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide

Anon - Thanks for your question. Actinic keratosis is a common pre-cancer and affects about 10 million people in the U.S. alone. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, actinic keratosis can be the first step leading to squamous cell carcinoma and is therefore known as a “precancer.” Although the vast majority of actinic keratoses remain benign, some studies report that up to ten percent may advance to squamous cell carcinoma. This percentage does not sound very large, but it has a large impact. When it comes to squamous cell carcinomas, 40-60 percent begin as untreated actinic keratoses and may advance to invade the surrounding tissues. About 2 to 10 percent of these squamous cell carcinomas spread to the internal organs and are life-threatening.

As a fellow breast cancer survivor, I suggest learning more about this condition and the multiple treatment options available so you can make the most informed decision possible. The following links provide information that will help you. It's good that you've found this early, and I wish you the best possible outcome.
Pat

Skin Cancer Foundation:
http://www.skincancer.org/actinic-keratosis-and-other-precancers.html

Mayo Clinic:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/actinic-keratosis/DS00568

Medicine Net:
http://www.medicinenet.com/actinic_keratosis/article.htm

December 16, 2010 - 3:20pm
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