Photodynamic Therapy for Lung Cancer

In some cases, doctors may recommend using photodynamic therapy for lung cancer treatment. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a type of treatment that may be used to reduce or relieve symptoms of lung cancer. Other applications of photodynamic therapy for lung cancer treatment involve treating very small tumors in certain patients. Side effects associated with photodynamic therapy include sensitivity to light, trouble swallowing, and painful breathing.

Photodynamic Therapy for Lung Cancer: An Overview

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a type of cancer treatment that uses a drug, called a photosensitizer or photosensitizing agent, and a particular type of light. When photosensitizers are exposed to a specific wavelength of light (such as from a laser), they produce a form of oxygen that kills nearby cells.
 
Photodynamic therapy for lung cancer may be used to reduce symptoms of the disease -- for example, to control bleeding or to relieve breathing problems due to blocked airways when the cancer cannot be removed through surgery. Photodynamic therapy may also be used as lung cancer treatment for very small tumors in patients for whom the usual treatments for lung cancer are not appropriate.
 

Side Effects of Photodynamic Therapy for Lung Cancer

Photodynamic therapy for lung cancer makes the skin and eyes sensitive to light for 6 weeks or more after treatment. Patients are advised to avoid direct sunlight and bright indoor light for at least 6 weeks. If patients must go outdoors, they need to wear protective clothing, including sunglasses. Other temporary side effects of PDT may include coughing, trouble swallowing, and painful breathing or shortness of breath. Patients should talk with their doctor about what to do if the skin becomes blistered, red, or swollen.
 
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