Skin Cancer Treatment in the Winter

Skin Cancer Treatment in the Winter

By Dr Jeffrey Chow  General Practitioner

The summer is usually when most of us think about skin cancer screening. The winter, however, can also be taken advantage of for some skin cancer management.

5 fluorouracil (5-FU) cream (eg Efudix or Tolak) can be used topically to treat pre-cancerous skin conditions such as actinic keratosis and Bowen’s disease (carcinoma in-situ). These are common sun-damaged conditions that could transform into invasive skin cancers if they are not treated. 5-FU aims to selectively kill rapidly dividing cancer cells on the skin. The medication may even pick up lesions that are not seen clinically.

The medication is usually used for up to 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the location of the body. The side effects can include skin redness, swelling, crusting and usually subside after cessation of the medication. Importantly, skin exposure to sunlight should be avoided while being treated with this medication. This makes the winter a suitable and desirable time to undertake topical skin cancer treatment when we are mostly covered up.

If you would like further information about skin cancer prevention, skin checks, and related skin cancer treatment, please do not hesitate to consult with a GP at the Madison Medical Practice. 

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