I must be crazy to post these online for the world to see, I know. But I’ve so appreciated others who have done it before me, I want to help them raise awareness about skin cancer and this particular treatment called fluorouracil (brand name Efudex or Carac or Fluoroplex). I’m using the generic in 5% strength.
Fluorouracil is a topical chemotherapy, an anti-metabolite for you chemistry types. Basically it destroys the DNA of the cells that absorb it. Since abnormal cells multiply more rapidly than normal cells, only the abnormal ones end up absorbing it. It doesn’t last long enough to affect normal skin cells. So wherever the stuff causes a reaction, like redness, swelling, blistering… that’s where the bad cells are lurking.
The types of cells specifically targeted by this treatment are superficial basal cell carcinomas (an active cancer, though not terribly dangerous) and actinic keratoses (the earliest stage of squamous cell carcinoma, which can be more dangerous). I have both types.
Warning! Truly disgusting photos follow. Do not read further if you are squeamish! Continue reading