Soaking in the sun, hopping in the tanning bed--all roads that have proven to lead to skin cancer. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new daily pill called Odomzo to help people with tumors that are hard to remove or that have returned after radiation or surgery.
"It is an intense pill. It is a pill that we're excited about in dermatology all this new research going on," said St. Vincent Dermatologist, Dr. Christopher Obeime.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type. The pill suppresses the pathway that's active in that type of cancer.
"Now, do I want people to run in here asking me for this pill for the basal cell? No! It is for people who have really severe basal cells that are not resectable and you cannot do radiation for," said Dr. Obeime.
The pill costs about $30,000 to treat a tumor. The side effects are also pretty intense including muscle spasm, hair loss, and nausea. But the goal is to never end up in this situation.
"Moral of the story...Don't get your basal cells. Do preventive measures. Go see your dermatologist early. Get skin exams. And if you get a new young basal cell its easy to treat either by cutting it or using certain creams in the office."
58% of the patients in the clinical trial saw their tumors shrink or disappear.