Do Lasers or Topicals Really Work for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers?
Novel strategies are urgently needed to address the millions of nonmelanoma skin cancers
treated in the United States annually. The need is greatest for those patients who are poor
surgical candidates or those prone to numerous nonmelanoma skin cancers and therefore
at risk for marked disfigurement. Traditional treatment strategies include electrosurgery
with curettage, radiation therapy, cryotherapy, excision, and Mohs micrographic surgery.
Alternatives to traditional treatment, including topical medications and light or laser therapies,
are becoming popular; however, there are various degrees of efficacy among these
alternative tactics. These alternatives include topical retinoids, peels, 5-fluorouracil, imiquimod,
photodynamic therapy, and lasers. The purpose of this paper is to review the
available data regarding these alternative strategies and permit the reader to have a sense
of which therapies are reasonable options for care.
Semin Cutan Med Surg 30:14-25 © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.