Topical Chemotherapy

Learn about topical chemotherapy—a targeted treatment combating skin cancer directly on the surface, minimizing systemic impact.

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Topical chemotherapy refers to the application of chemotherapy medications directly onto the skin to treat certain types of skin cancer or precancerous skin lesions.

Unlike systemic chemotherapy administered orally or intravenously, topical chemotherapy specifically targets abnormal cells on the skin’s surface.

Why Use It?

Topical chemotherapy is employed for treating superficial skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma in situ.

It involves applying medications such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or imiquimod directly onto the affected area.

These medications work by destroying cancerous or precancerous cells, promoting healing and preventing the progression of the disease.

Who Uses It?

Individuals diagnosed with specific types of skin cancer or precancerous lesions might undergo treatment with topical chemotherapy.

It is commonly recommended for superficial cancers or lesions on areas where surgical removal may be challenging or cosmetically sensitive, such as the face or neck.


Topical chemotherapy offers a targeted approach for treating certain types of skin cancer and precancerous lesions.

Its localized application minimizes systemic side effects often associated with traditional chemotherapy, making it a valuable option for managing superficial skin cancers.

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