Dealing with the Consequences of Cancer Treatments

by | Jan 21, 2013 | Health And Fitness

Not everyone that receives radiation cancer treatment will be a victim of radiation dermatitis. This skin condition can be debilitating if it is too severe, but most people can control it if they stay on top of it and take the recommendations that their doctor will most likely offer. Each person will have different side effects to contend with. The dermatitis can be minimal in nature or severe, depending on how much radiation a person receives and whether or not they even have the condition as a side effect. Some people are fortunate enough to never experience any side effects at all from radiation therapy, but that is rare.

Signs and Symptoms of Damaged Skin

When a person is going through radiation treatments for their cancer, the first visible sign they will see if they are going to have skin problems is redness of the skin. It can be the faintest blush color or bright red, depending on how badly it has affected them. People have described the affected areas as feeling like sunburns that won’t go away. After the stage when the skin becomes red, it can darken in appearance as well. These skin problems are normally side effects that happen during the beginning stages of the radiation therapy process, so if a person experiences them then they will only get worse as the treatments progress. It is also possible that the affected area will become swollen and very tender to the touch.

Ways to Minimize the Risk of Skin Damage

When you are scheduled to have a radiation treatment, your skin should be left to breathe. It should be totally free of any type of moisturizing creams or products for around four hours before your treatment begins. Topical rehydrating emulsion cream can really help significantly if it is applied directly after the radiation therapy treatment, before ever leaving the hospital where the treatment is being done. This emulsifier can help to replenish the level of moisture deep into the skin, which results in skin that appears healthy, rather than cracked or flaky skin that can be painful to the touch.

Keeping Muscle Mass and Weight under Control

Losing muscle and weight are other problems that radiation therapy patients face, and they can control these and other symptoms by closely following the daily regimen that their doctor will lay out for them in explicit detail. This regimen could include dieting orders, physical exercise, and topical products to alleviate the symptoms. There is no individual miracle that can cure these people of their issues, but several solutions working together can make their lives much easier to deal with on a daily basis. If the symptoms can be controlled, then their recovery process will run much smoother.

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