Agency, 28 March : Almost 10,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. But, for people who already have precancerous skin lesions, there may soon be a way to reduce their cancer risk.
New research reports that a cream combining two drugs can reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) on the face and scalp by nearly 75 percent.
The two drugs in the cream are 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), a type of topical chemotherapy, and a synthetic form of vitamin D called calcipotriol.
The study, by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, included 130 participants. Trial results for treatment on the face and scalp were available for only about half of them.
Nonetheless, researchers said they found that a greater number of participants who received the combination cream treatment for lesions on the face and scalp remained free of cancer for more than three years after treatment.
Only 7 percent developed SCC compared with 28 percent in the control group.
Dr. Tanya Nino, a dermatologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, told Healthline this is important research “because cutaneous SCC does have a measurable risk of spreading. Once it does, treatment becomes more complex and the disease can be difficult to control.” But this treatment didn’t prevent SCC on the arms.
The researchers say that perhaps longer treatment with calcipotriol and 5-FU may be needed to reduce skin cancer risk on the arm and other parts of the body.
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