e recommend that these patients wear dark sunglasses, a wide-brimmed
hat, turtleneck, long sleeves, gloves and long pants if they must go out during
the day after the surgery to protect themselves against sunburn," Warren said.
"Patients will not experience photosensitivity when exposed to ordinary indoor
lighting from normal fluorescent or low wattage incandescent bulbs," he said.
Currently, PDT is FDA approved for use on tumors in the esophagus and
lung cancers blocking the windpipe. Warren cautioned that, while PDT is not a
cure for many patients whose cancer has spread, it can improve the quality of
life significantly for those who are having trouble eating, swallowing or
breathing. Other alternatives to ease
swallowing or breathing include stent surgery, in which a device is implanted
into the windpipe or esophagus to prop open the passageway. These can still be
used in conjunction with PDT and conventional laser therapy.
Over a 20-year period, there have been significant increases in the
number of deaths from several cancers involving the lungs, throat and esophagus.
For example, according to the American Cancer Society, males have experienced a
24 percent increase in death from esophageal cancer, while there has been a 147
percent increase in the number of women who have died from lung cancer between
1974 and 1994.
"PDT may, in some cases, cure the cancer if it has been caught very
early," he said. "In most patients, however, PDT will simply return to them the
ability to breath and eat, which for many patients at this stage, is a Godsend."
Page: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Chris Martin
Rush University Medical Center
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