Basal Cell Cancer – Efudex

January 5th, 2011

Efudex (5% Fluouracil) is a topical cream used to treat Superficial Basal Cell Cancers not amenable to surgery that I prescribe in my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices.  Themechanism of action of Efudex involves interfering with a cancer cell’s ability to reproduce.  Surgery is the primary treatment for Basal Cell Cancers; however, in patients who are not surgical candidates Efudex can be a viable treatment alternative.  The cure rate for Basal Cell Cancers treated with Efudex is lower than surgery with a 93% success rate.  Only Basal Cell Cancers that are Superficial are FDA indicated for treatment with Efudex and in low risk areas such as the neck, extremities and trunk.  Efudex is applied twice a day for 6-12 weeks to the area with cancer as well as a 1 cm margin of normal skin.  During treatment, the area treated with Efudex becomes inflamed with induration, scaliness, discharge and redness.  It is very important to avoid sun exposure in this area as it can intensify the reaction.  After the treatment course, the skin should appear normal at the original site of the cancer.