DD, Aged 17

    When people would talk they didn't know what to say which was understandable.  more...


    Mimi - 15 years old

    I lost myself doing stupid things, angry and sad and depressed at everything. I ended up failing my classes, not caring about school, and getting into fights.  more...


    Chelsea - 14 years old

    I stuck my head round the door in the room mum was in, and she looked really ill. I couldn't understand what was happening - one minute my mum was fine and the next she was ill.  more...


    Clair - aged 14

    Something I wish is I could just have one more day with my dad! - to tell him how much I love him and how sorry I am for all the bad things I have said and done to him!  more...


    Nicole - 17 years old

    This time the doctors are unable to operate. He has already had 6 sessions of chemo and is having another 6 sessions. I cannot help feeling I may lose him.  more...


    Rirrif - 15 years old

    I have been staying with my dad because my mom doesn't want me around when she is sick, which is all the time. My dad works at night so I spend a lot of time alone since I'm not with my mom. I'm afraid she is going to die and I'll blame myself for not being there more. more...


    HT - 13 years old

    She has been so strong about this and is keen to put it all behind her.  more...

Photodynamic therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses special drugs that can be activated by a certain type of light to create a chemical that can kill cancer cells.

With photodynamic therapy, patients are given a certain type of drug that can kill cancer cells once chemicals in the drug have been activated by certain kinds of light. PDT can only treat areas in the body that can be reached by the light that is being used in the treatment. And as light can’t travel very far through body tissues (only about 1 cm), PDT is at the moment mostly used for treating skin cancers (not the melanoma type). There is research going on to investigate if it is effective in treating other cancers too, but at the moment such treatments are what we call experimental – meaning we don’t know enough yet about whether they work or not.

When PDT is used to treat skin cancer, the patient is usually given a cream that contains the chemical that is sensitive to the particular light used in the treatment. When the chemical in the cream has been absorbed into the skin where the cancer is, the patient has a strong light pointed to that area. When the light hits the chemical that has now been absorbed into the cancer cells in the skin, the chemical produces a type of oxygen that kills the cells that have absorbed the chemical. It is thought that as well as directly killing cancer cells, this treatment may also destroy blood vessels that cancer cells need to survive as well as alerting the immune system to attack the cancer cells.

If you want to find out more about this we have linked to Maggie’s CancerLinks where you will be signposted to high quality information about different types of cancer treatments, including photodynamic therapy.

Please get in touch with us if you have any worries or questions related to cancer.

Page updated 17 July 2017