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[Podcast] Treating actinic keratosis with daylight photodynamic therapy | Conversations with Prof David Wilkinson

Welcome to this podcast series, Conversations with Professor David Wilkinson! In this episode, Prof David Wilkinson (Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Macquarie University) speaks with Dr Francis Tan – a dedicated Skin Cancer Doctor who has practised in the field since 1994 – about daylight photodynamic therapy as a front-line treatment for actinic keratosis.

Listen to the full podcast now:

In the podcast, Dr Tan speaks about his own experiences as a dedicated skin cancer practitioner over the past three decades, including the reasons he embarked in the field: namely, he liked working with his hands, and the immediacy of diagnosing and curing his patients of their ailments.

The podcast further explores daylight photodynamic therapy (PDT) and its benefits for treating actinic keratoses. Daylight PDT is fast becoming the best field treatment for these types of lesions, and Dr Tan speaks about how he uses this therapy in his practice in Queensland, particularly on the face and balding scalp.

Dr Tan walks through the step-by-step process of treating patients with daylight PDT. He discusses which patients are candidates for this treatment which includes men who work outdoors and patients with a lot of sun damage.

Hear all this and much more in the full podcast above.

Professor David Wilkinson is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Macquarie University. He is a registered general practitioner and public health medicine specialist. Since 2004, Professor Wilkinson’s clinical work has focused on skin cancer medicine in primary care. He has published research papers on the topic, designed and led development of the only Master of Medicine degree in skin cancer, and helped develop and present a suite of skin cancer short courses delivered by HealthCert Education.

Dr Francis Tan is a Skin Cancer Doctor at Coorparoo Skin Cancer & Skin Repair Centre in Brisbane. He graduated from The University of New South Wales in 1986. He worked in a variety of general practice surgeries throughout Australia, including clinics in Sydney, Tweed Heads, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Cairns. Dr Tan obtained a Masters of Medicine from The University of Queensland in 2014 and holds an impressive portfolio of university-certified Professional Diplomas in Skin Cancer Medicine and related fields. He is particularly interested in using dermatoscopy to detect melanoma in situ and performing skin cancer surgery to the best of his ability for the benefit of his patients.

Learn more in HealthCert’s primary care certificate courses!

Skin Cancer Certificate Courses in Australia

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5 comments on “[Podcast] Treating actinic keratosis with daylight photodynamic therapy | Conversations with Prof David Wilkinson

  1. Thanks for the fascinating podcast. I would love to provide this service for my patients on the NSW Central Coast. Do I just need to request my local compounding pharmacist make up 3 mL 20% aminolevulinic acid gel? Or do I need to give them more instructions than that? What exactly goes on the prescription? Thank you.

    1. Hi Dr Donovan, thank you for your comment. Responding here on behalf of Dr Francis Tan:
      You are best to have a conversation with your local compounding pharmacist. A generic script may read as follows:

      5-ALA 20% GEL
      5-Aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride 20%
      Apply as directed.
      Quantity: 3*10g. No repeats.


      1*10g depending on numbers to be treated.
      Pharmacist to advise on shelf/storage time.

      I hope this helps!

      Thank you,
      Abbie | HealthCert Education

  2. Many thanks for a great podcast by Dr Tan. I’ve always used Daylight PDT instead of Red Light for about 8 years. The results initially are excellent, albeit florid reactions and unfortunately the occasional infection, however, I do find AKs “return” or new ones occur within 12 months. Is this usual?

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