Kangaroo Point Medical Centre

Minimally Invasive Skin Cancer Treatment

Topical Treatments
Immunotherapy cream

A cream called imiquimod is a type of immunotherapy that causes the body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells.It is used to treat sunspots, superficial BCCs and squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen’s disease).
You apply imiquimod directly to the affected area every night, usually five days a week for six weeks.
Within days of starting imiquimod, the treated skin may become red, sore and tender to touch. The skin may peel and scab over before it gets better.

What to expect after: Some people have pain or itching in the affected area, fever, achy joints, headache and a rash. If you experience any of these more serious side effects, stop using the cream and see your doctor immediately.

Chemotherapy cream

5-fluorouracil (5-FU)

This cream is a type of chemotherapy drug. It is used to treat superficial BCCs, sunspots and, sometimes, squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen’s disease).

5-FU works best on the face and scalp.

Your Skin Doctor will explain how to apply the cream and how often. Many people use it twice a day for 2–3 weeks. It may need to be used for longer for some skin cancers.

While using the cream, you will be more sensitive to UV radiation and will need to stay out of the sun. What to expect after: The treated skin may become red, blister, peel and crack, and feel uncomfortable. These effects will usually settle within a few weeks of treatment finishing.

Ingenol mebutate

This gel is applied to the affected sunspots once a day for two to three days. It is a milder form of treatment used for younger people with less sunspots.

What to expect after: You may experience skin reddening, flaking or scaling, mild swelling, crusting or scabbing, and blisters. These side effects should disappear within a couple of weeks of treatment finishing.