Sap from the common garden weed petty spurge appears to treat non-melanoma skin cancers, experts are reporting in the British Journal of Dermatology. But they tell patients not to "try it at home" since the treatment is still experimental and can irritate the skin.
Their study involved 36 patients with non-melanoma skin cancer lesions. Although not the most serious form of skin cancer, non-melanoma lesions are very common, accounting for a third of all cancers detected in the UK. They include basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and usually occur in older people.
Most cases of non-melanoma skin cancer can be easily treated and cured with surgical removal or freezing, or using a special kind of light therapy that kills the cancer cells.