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WCCS/EADO 2016 | How to treat actinic keratosis

Jean-Jacques Grob, MD of the Aix-Marseille University and APHM Hospital CHU Timone, Marseille, France, gives an overview of his talk on actinic keratosis (AK) at the 2016 World Congress on Cancers of the Skin (WCCS) and the Congress of the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO) in Vienna, Austria. He explains that so far, there is insufficient data available which would allow for physicians to select the right treatment for such patients. He believes that scientists in the field collectively have the aim of treating skin cancer, i.e. the field of mutations occurring as a result of UV exposure. In order to target such cases, topical drugs are applied. All drugs would have been tried on surrogate measures, i.e. the disappearance of actinic keratosis. As a result, the choice cannot be done using evidence; instead, it is done on convenience and is based on the patient desire. However, it can prove to be a challenge when doctors have the priority to treat a tumor, where the patient wants almost a cosmetic effect since they believe that actinic keratosis means aging. This proves to be one of the main differences in practice between the opinion of a doctor and that of a patient.

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