Topical Creams

Efudix (5-flurouracil)

Efudix is commonly used for the treatment of sun spots and selected non-invasive skin cancers.

The cream is made from a chemotherapeutic agent that when applied to skin is taken up by pre-cancerous and cancer cells, resulting in cell destruction. The cream also irritates normal skin and therefore results in significant inflammation during treatment. The reaction on the skin can vary from mild to severe redness and crusting. 

Information brochures are available to patients and each treatment plan is tailored to each individual patient and will be discussed by your dermatologist during your consultation. 

Expected response over the course of treatment. (Response may vary from patient to patient)

Aldara (Imiquimod)

Aldara is a cream that works for selected skin cancer including some superficial basal cell cancers and solar keratoses.

The cream works by stimulating the immune system to recognise and subsequently destroy the cancer cells. As the cream stimulates the immune system, it is not unusual that skin in the surrounding area also becomes inflamed. Redness and itching of the treatment are common and are signs that Aldara is working. You may also experience other skin reactions such as; small open sores, swelling, small bubbles under the skin, burning, flaking and scabbing at the site where Aldar is applied. The degree of inflammation varies between patients, and can vary from mild to severe. 

Information brochures are available for patient review.



Radiotherapy can be used for a wide variety of skin cancers as either a primary treatment or often as an adjunctive treatment to surgery in order to maximise cure rate. Radiotherapy works by directing radiation at a target area, subsequently destroying cancer cells. The treatment is aimed at killing cancer cells but normal cells will also be affected, often resulting in significant inflammation at the treatment site.

The effectiveness of Radiation will vary depending on factors including the skin cancer type, site, extent and radiation used. Not all tumours respond to radiotherapy, and cancers such as melanoma are not regarded as very sensitive to this management. In certain anatomical sites, such as the lower leg, radiotherapy is best avoided.

This treatment requires referral to a Specialist Radiation Clinic.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is used to treat superficial forms of skin cancers and sunspots.

This clever technique involves using a photosensitising creams that when applied to the skin are taken up by cancer cells. The photosensitising cream is then activated using bright light, subsequently destroying the cancer cells.

Immediately after treatment the area will become inflamed, red and swollen. A crusted area may form, and healing can take 1-2 weeks.
PDT is not conducted at the Ballarat Skin Cancer Centre, but one of our doctors may be able to organise a referral where appropriate.