Topical Medications for Skin Cancer

Topical Medications for Skin Cancer

Topical Medications for Skin Cancer Topical medicines are treatment applied to the skin. Topical medicines for skin cancers and pre-cancer are in the form of creams, gels, and liquid solutions.


Four topical treatment are used to treat skin cancers and cancer: 1-8

Topical Medications for Skin Cancer

  • Fluorouracil (trade name: Carac, Efudex, Fluoroplex, Tolak)
  • Imiquimod (brand name: Aldara, Zyclara)
  • Diclofenac (brand name: Solaraze)
  • Inmebutate (brand name: Picato)

The recommended dosing frequency and duration of treatment are different for each topical medication.

What lessons can be treated with topical medicines?
Actinic keratosis. Four topical treatment can be used to treat actinic keratosis. Actininische keratosis is a type of pioneer that can cause cancer, an abnormal patch of skin growth. All actinic keratosis proliferations are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) up to 10% of Actinic keratoses unless skin cancer is present. 9 Also 60% of the SCC from Aktininischer Keratosis. For this reason, the National Cancer guidelines recommend Actinic keratosis treatment before it progresses. 10

Fluorouracil or Imiquimod is considered as the first line treatment for Actinic keratosis. 10 Diclofenac is an acceptable alternative. The injection is the most recent FDA approved the topical medication. As a result, it has not yet been included in cancer guidelines.

Basal cell carcinoma. Fluorouracil (5% concentration) and Imiquimod (5% concentration) are treatment options for fine (or superficial) basal cell carcinoma (BCC). 1.6 Topical medicines are not as effective as surgery or radiation for BCC. For this reason, if more effective treatments are not possible, they are used only for low-risk BCC. 11th

Fluorouracil is a chemotherapy treatment. 6 Cancer develops when cell division can not be controlled. Fluorouracil acts by disturbing the cell division that causes cells to die.

Fluorouracil kills tumor cells on the skin surface when applied to the skin. 6 It does not reach any cell in deeper skin layers or in the body. This means that Fluorouracil works best on abnormal cells on the skin surface. This also means that side effects are usually limited to the area of treatment. At another point in the body, only a few side effects occur.

Other names for fluorouracil are 5-Fluorouracil or 5-fu. Fluorouracil, Efudex, Fluoroplex, Carac or Tolak are also called by their brand names. 1-4 brand products range from 0.5% (Carac) to 5% (Efudex cream). 1, 3 Some products are used once a day, others are used twice a day.

Imiquimod is in a class of medications called immune response modifiers. 3 This means that Imiquimod activates its own immune system. 4 However, it is not known exactly how Imiquimod treats Actinic keratosis or Bcc. 1-3

Imiquimod, Zyclara or Aldara brand names are also called. 2.5% and 3.75% (Zyclara) or 5% (Aldara). 1.2 Imiquimod is also used to treat genital and perianal warts.

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatment (NSAID) that can be used in the treatment of Aktininischer keratosis. It is not exactly known how Diclofenac gel treats Actinic keratosis. 1

Diclofenac Gel is also called Solaraze by the brand name. Other topical Diclofenac products (brand names: Pennsaid, voltaic) treat arthritis pain. 2 in pill form, Diclofenac is a painkiller.

Inmebutate causes the abnormal cells to die in a actinic keratosis lesion. 1, 2 It also activates your own immune system. This causes immune cells called neutrophils to enter (enter) the lesion. 2 Jelin battles abnormal cells that survive the first application.

Inmebutate is also called Picato by the brand name. 1 Currently, this treatment does not come in generic form.

Topical Medications for Skin Cancer

What are the pros and cons of using topical medications?
The treatment of skin changes with topical medications has several advantages:

  • Little to no scarring.
  • After the treated area is cured, most people are satisfied with the appearance.
  • Possibility of treatment if an operation is difficult to perform.

Disadvantages of topical medications are:

  • Irritation at the treatment site during and for a few weeks after treatment.
  • Not effective for everyone.
  • The duration of treatment may be weeks or months.
  • Inconvenience of daily medication application.
  • Avoid direct sunlight during the treatment period.

All topical medications cause skin irritation. The skin reactions in the affected areas are worse with some topical medications compared to others. Your health care professional should show you which areas of your skin will be treated and how you will use them. Talk to your health care provider about your concerns and preferences. Together, you can choose a treatment that works best for you. Follow your provider’s instructions for frequency and duration of use and do not stop using it without first discussing with your healthcare provider.