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A report in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that many skin cancers can be cured by applying a cream containing imiquimod three times a week for several weeks on the lesions.

Imiquimod stimulates cells to produce alpha interferon, a potent chemical that kills most viruses. It enhances a person's own immunity so that it can kill cancer cells. Skin cancers feel very soft when scraped, while normal skin is hard. The conventional treatment is for the dermatologist to scrape out the soft skin cancer until he fells hard skin and then burn a margin around the area. However, this treatment almost always leaves significant scars. Imiquimod offers advantages over the more conventional treatments because it rarely leaves any scars, is far cheaper than surgery, does not bleed, does not become infected and is relatively painless.

Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology 1999;41:1002-1007. Archives of Dermatology June, 2000

Checked 8/9/05

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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