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Update on Topical Photodynamic Therapy

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The incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) in the United Kingdom (UK) continues to challenge healthcare professionals (HCPs) and the capacity to treat these and meet waiting-list targets creates pressures for those working in dermatology services across the UK. NMSC are extremely common and in 2011 there were 102,628 cases of NMSC registered in the UK; 57,800 (56%) in men and 44,828 (44%) in women, giving a male: female ratio of around 13:10 (Cancer Research UK, 2014). Photodynamic therapy (PDT) over the years has evolved and developed to provide a safe and efficacious treatment choice for clinicians for their patients with NMSC. Over recent years newer drug molecules have been developed for PDT and are licenced to treat some types of NMSC, and newer light sources are available that have reduced treatment times. In 2005 PDT received interventional guidance approval by NICE, which had an impact on recognition of PDT as a treatment option for the National Health Service (NHS). All these factors have improved the procedure and brought down waiting list times. Registered nurses in the UK in collaboration with their medical colleagues have embraced the opportunity of setting up PDT services both in the NHS and private clinics to provide this non-invasive treatment option for their patients. This article aims to provide an update on current guidance and thoughts for the future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2014

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  • Dermatological Nursing is the quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the British Dermatological Nursing Group (BDNG) and the UK's only quality dermatological nursing journal. It aims to provide cutting-edge articles on the treatment and management of dermatological conditions and the care of patients with skin problems. While the focus is on dermatological nursing, the information included is relevant to other healthcare professionals.
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