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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) can do amazing things but needs malpractice insurance. As you probably know, many common cancers are very treatable nowadays. If the cancer is detected early enough, most patients can get a "clean bill of health" and enjoy a very long and healthy life. But, unfortunately, this is not the case with all cancers, and there are currently no effective treatments available for those with advanced-stage cancers. That's why it's crucial for everyone who has early-stage cancer (or the potential of getting cancer) to learn about a relatively unknown treatment option that is both safe and highly effective.


A growing number of people with skin cancers are turning to a less conventional treatment called Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and winning! Why? Because it works so much better than surgery! Some doctors say that 90% of patients who get photodynamic therapy have their cancer completely destroyed and never have any surgery! This unique treatment is quickly becoming the "go-to" option for people with basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and other kinds of non-melanoma skin cancer. But there's a problem. So many people don't know about this treatment, and even fewer know the facts about how amazing it is.  


The Basics

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an excellent treatment for early-stage non-melanoma skin cancer, many types of internal cancers, acne, and multiple other conditions. It's a pretty straightforward process. First, a patient is administered a photoactive substance called a photosensitizer. Then, after the photosensitizer accumulates in a target area, a specific wavelength of light energy is directed onto the tissue in this area.


The photosensitizer is nontoxic until this light activates it. Once the photosensitizer becomes activated, the photosensitizer becomes toxic (causes damage) to the targeted tissue. In the case of skin cancer, this can be the removal of the cancerous tissue and any surrounding cells or the destruction of the remaining cancerous cells.


PDT for Cancer

Gary Bencivenga, M.D. explained that photodynamic therapy is the only FDA-approved cancer treatment that uses light to destroy tumours without damaging surrounding healthy tissue. It combines a photosensitive drug with a special kind of light, usually a low-power laser, that targets only the diseased tissue. The light activates the photosensitive drug, producing free radicals that kill the diseased cancer cells. The body's natural defences heal the damaged tissue after removing the light.


Studies have shown that this light-based therapy can trigger the body's immune response. As a result, it's a very effective treatment and often eliminates the need for surgery.


More Basics about PDT

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a drug called aminolevulinic acid (ALA), which makes the body's skin more receptive to light. The treatment takes about 30 minutes and costs approximately $400 per session. Once the body absorbs ALA, it produces a substance that attracts and concentrates the cancer cells' oxygen. When the tissue is exposed to the concentrated light, it is destroyed. Also, the light used during the procedure does not cause phototoxicity, which means there is less risk of scarring and other side effects.


The treatment is approved for basal cell carcinoma, a form of non-melanoma skin cancer. A pilot study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that PDT has a cure rate of 80%. In addition, it is the only FDA-approved therapy for certain skin cancers, melanomas, that are not surgical, including squamous cell carcinoma and nodular basal cell carcinoma. 


PDT helps treat bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. It also treats acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions such as keloids and hypertrophic scars. Typically, s series of 8-10 treatments are required over a 4-6 week period.


A Brief History

The history of photodynamic therapy (PDT) dates back to 1864, when Dr. Egas Moniz invented a new method of treatment using light. He discovered that exposure to a specific wavelength of light could cure cancer in mice, and he called this new technique photochemotherapy. In 1913, Dr. Albert Ehrlich created the first Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) system. Australian dermatologist Charles F. Glimcher Jr. invented the technology in the 1950s and first tested it on human skin in the late 1970s. But it wasn't until the 1980s that PDT became a standard medical treatment option.


The FDA approved the first PDT drug in 1997, but the treatment was a challenge to administer and a pain for patients. Since then, PDT has come a long way, from a treatment primarily used to treat skin cancers to one that can destroy many other conditions and types of cancer.


PDT Malpractice Insurance

When writing about a new medical procedure or therapy, the first steps are to explain the treatment and why it's important. Regarding PDT, the therapy has been around for a long time but was never widely accepted because scientists, doctors, and specialists couldn't figure out how to use it safely. However, in recent years, that all changed. PDT is not a new treatment anymore, and its' effectiveness in treating various conditions is expanding. The primary purpose of PDT is to destroy diseased cells without damaging normal cells.


Photodynamic therapy effectively treats many skin conditions and has a good safety record. Still, you can only use PDT on a specific skin type, which means that it's not valid to treat more widespread skin diseases such as psoriasis or eczema. In addition, patients always need a competent practitioner to do the PDT procedure and take all reasonable precautions to ensure positive outcomes.


Always keep in mind: complications from any medical treatment or procedure can potentially arise - if the damages are extensive enough, it will effectively bankrupt the defendant and end the doctor's career. If you do not have malpractice (similar to errors & omissions) insurance, your career could come to an end at any moment.


The Bottom Line

In conclusion, it's important to remember that the cost of healthcare and the amount of money spent on it will continue to rise. That said, the future of photodynamic therapy looks very positive. In a recent survey by the Photodynamic Therapy Foundation, 96% of the respondents said that they believe in photodynamic therapy for both cancer and non-cancer treatment. The treatment is safe and non-invasive: patients who undergo this treatment have been known to say that their skin feels tighter and smoother, and they notice that their pores look smaller.


The only thing holding the industry back is access to group /health insurance coverage. If you want to get the most out of this kind of treatment, you need to talk to your group/health insurance provider about whether it's covered. The treatment is usually considered a cosmetic treatment, and if you don't have any other insurance policies in place, you will probably not be covered. However, some insurance providers cover the procedure, which will make it much easier to afford. This may change in the future, so it's good to check with your provider before getting started on your treatments.