Is filler and/or Botox okay for people who have cancer?
This is a both a complicated and uncomplicated question. Okay ……..I know that’s confusing in itself! The good news is that neither Botox or fillers affect the immune system so that means generally, they do not cause problems. We work frequently with our Tumor Institute patients at our practice in Seattle.
First though, if you are currently undergoing chemo or radiation, you must check with your oncologist first, although most of the time, they will okay it. If you are finished with your active therapy but on a maintenance chemo drug, then please check with your oncologist first.
The situation where chemo/radiation/surgery was over some time ago (yay!!) and there is no maintaince chemo, and no signs of cancer is a little tougher. Some oncologists who are still following like to track everything, others will leave it up to the dermatologist. But again, Botox and filler do not appear to affect immune function. There is 15-20 years of use of these agents in dermatology so we don’t have data/information going back 25-30 years yet.
A general primer but each individual case may be different:
- Juvederm Ultra, Juverderm Ultra Plus, Voluma – generally safe during and after chemo unless white counts are very low then avoid due to possible increased infection risks.
- Restylane and Perlane – generally the same as #1
- Sculptra – generally safe but not advised during chemo and about 6 months after because your ability to make collagen is diminished and the results may be minimal
- Botox/Dysport/Xeomin – generally safe unless there are neurological symptoms associated with the chemo, radiation or tumor itself. Consult your oncologist if needed.
- Radiesse – I generally don’t recommend this anyway but there are excellent doctors who disagree
- Artefill and Silicone – I always vote no on these
Hope this helps, Dr. I