What is photodynamic therapy (PDT) for lung cancer?

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Evaluation for photodynamic treatment (PDT) for lung cancer involves an initial medical history, physical examination, review of chest X-rays and CT scans, and diagnostic bronchoscopy.

Early small superficial squamous cell cancer of the airways which do not invade deeply into the airway can be treated and cured with PDT, avoiding the need for larger resections.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment that uses a drug and a certain type of laser light to kill cancer cells. A drug that is not active until it is exposed to light is injected into a vein. The drug collects more in cancer cells than in normal cells. Fiber-optic tubes are then used to carry the laser light to the cancer cells, where the drug becomes active and kills the cells. Photodynamic therapy causes little damage to healthy tissue. It is used mainly to treat tumors on or just under the skin or in the lining of internal organs.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for lung cancer uses drugs called photosensitizers, along with light to kill your cancer cells. The drugs only work after they have been activated or "turned on" by certain kinds of light. PDT treats tumors that are on the lining of internal organs. It is often used to relieve symptoms in patients that have lung cancer that obstructs an airway or esophageal cancer that blocks the esophagus.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.