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When should Efudex start working?

I have had several instances of Bowen's disease but not for some time. In the past, they have been treated by freezing with liquid nitrogen (Cryotherapy) My dermatologist says that this is not popular any longer and has prescribed Efudex twice a day for 28 days. He warned that it can be quite aggressive and if it gets too bad, take a day or two to take a rest and start again. I am on day 10 and I have still had no reaction. Maybe the slightest tingling but no visual change. I am almost wondering if I have received a defective batch of cream. I will obviously persist. Is it normal to see no change after 10 days? I just wonder what others have experienced?

  1. Hi @alan-j...I am so sorry you are dealing with Efudex. It is truly a harrowing treatment for many users. Strangely enough, some users don't react until the second week while others react with the first application.

    I am guessing you are nearing the end of treatment right now. I hope you were able to see some great results and the cream did its job. I am including a couple of articles you might find handy.

    This one is on side effects:

    https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/efudex-side-effects/

    This article contains tips for the healing stage. If I am right you might be hitting that point now. It can be the roughest part of the entire treatment. Hang in there! It definitely gets better!

    https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/efudex-side-effects-tips/

    Please keep us posted on your progress! Sending you positive thoughts for quick healing! April, SkinCancer.net, Moderator

    1. Thank you for replying April.

      You are correct. I am on my last day today, day 28!
      Thanks for the links but apart from a very small amount of moderate stinging, I have had very little reaction. I'm not certain if the Efudix has worked.

      I have had a couple of very small blisters and my lesion doesn't seem quite as red but nothing like others have experienced.

      I'm not sure whether to carry on a little longer or stop as prescribed.

    2. @alan-j...Patients are generally told to use the cream for anywhere from 2 weeks to 28 days. That considered, we don't all react at the same rate. Some see reactions very quickly while others treat the full time and see little in the way of redness and irritation.

      It could be that you do need to continue a little longer. I would suggest you send some pics to your doctor or schedule a Telehealth visit to see what he/she advises at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if you are told to add another week or so.

      I am glad you have managed to avoid the worst Efudex has to offer. It can be a beast!

      Please keep us updated on your progress! Best of luck! April, SkinCancer.net, Moderator

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