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123Donna View Drop Down
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    Posted: Feb 16 2011 at 2:16pm

Skin Conditions Can Have Severe Impact in Cancer Patients

NEW ORLEANS (EGMN) - Skin conditions in cancer patients often are serious enough to result in a reduction or discontinuation of chemotherapy or radiation treatments, and yet only a small number of oncologists routinely refer their patients to dermatologists, said Dr. Mario E. Lacouture of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Dr. Lacouture added that the skin conditions can severely impact patients' quality of life and even lead to a worsening of their disease. "In a sense, the skin becomes an innocent bystander to cancer, with far-reaching psychosocial, physical, and financial implications for patients," he said at a press briefing during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

About 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year, and there are some 10.5 million survivors. About 900,000 of those diagnosed will undergo chemotherapy and 700,000 will get radiation, said Dr. Lacouture. Before starting, some 45% have pre-existing skin conditions, such as skin infections, severe dry skin, or itchy skin, he said. Chemotherapy suppresses the immune system and prevents normal cell growth, which can aggravate these underlying conditions.

He estimated that half of patients will develop a treatable skin, nail, or hair condition. Among those most commonly seen are acneiform rash, mouth sores, nail changes, dry skin, itching, hair problems, and hand-foot syndrome.

And yet, only about 8% of oncologists refer their patients to a dermatologist, Dr. Lacouture said in an interview after the briefing.

http://www.oncologystat.com/news/Skin_Conditions_Can_Have_Severe_Impact_in_Cancer_Patients_US.html




DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Genie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Genie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2011 at 7:08pm
Donna, I have had rosacea & scalp psoriasis for a number of years and have been on medication for both. Chemo caused severe flareups of the rosacea but the psoriasis cleared up completely on chemo. Go figure. Since finishing chemo 2 1/2 years ago, both conditions have steadily worsened. Since these are not usually life threatening conditions there is not a lot of research into the causes or cures.
DX 3/10/08 at age 67, IDC. Stage 1, Grade 3, 1.5 cm.
KI-67 99% at MX . Bilateral mastectomy 4/1/08 Node-, BRCA 1/2-,BARD1+, TX:Cytoxan/Taxotere x4,3 in family with TNBC
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mainsailset View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mainsailset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2011 at 7:35pm
Genie, I found when I went on the heavy doses of Vitamin D that my skins issues cleared right up. I had heavy rashes during chemo and has always fought boughts of scalp psoriasis and rosacea flareups and I found both just faded away after about 6 months of the D. You might try!
dx 7/08 TN 14x6.5x5.5 cm tumor

3 Lymph nodes involved, Taxol/Sunitab+AC, 5/09 dbl masectomy, path 2mm tumor removed, lymphs all clear, RAD 32 finished 9/11/09. 9/28 CT clear 10/18/10 CT clear
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Genie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Genie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2011 at 11:42pm
Mainsail,
I am taking 5,000 units of D3 and have been since finishing chemo because my levels were very low. I've only managed to get my levels up to 47. Should I be taking a higher dose? What amount are you taking? I would love to have the rosacea & psoriasis under control!
DX 3/10/08 at age 67, IDC. Stage 1, Grade 3, 1.5 cm.
KI-67 99% at MX . Bilateral mastectomy 4/1/08 Node-, BRCA 1/2-,BARD1+, TX:Cytoxan/Taxotere x4,3 in family with TNBC
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TracyAMac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2011 at 7:42am
Thanks for this post Donna. Interesting.  I had sensitive skin before chemo (rosacea, eczema) and developed some new skin problems during chemo - not uncommon.  Still dealing with some of them - though could be due in large measure to the natural aging process!

Interestingly, my distance vision improved during chemo - hope it lasts!

Tracy in Toronto
TN&non-TN tumors April/10 Gr3&2;1 metaplastic
Rmast.1/9 nodes w/isolated t.cells
Taxotere&Cytoxan x6
Bone cancer 1980 age17;surgery&chemo AC+Methotrexate
BRCA-ve
On hormone therapy & Metformin Trial
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2011 at 10:44am
Genie,
I had the same skin conditions as you and chemo cleared everything up! Three years out and my skin is going back to pre cancer days :(..... Oh well, it could be worse.
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DawnP View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DawnP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2011 at 12:04pm
I've had psoriasis since I was a little girl.  My arms, legs, knees, elbows...well, all over.  One of the nicest things about being on chemo last summer was that my skin cleared up so beautifully.  After I finished chemo, it came back with a fury.  I really look forward to it clearing up again since I have to go back on chemo.  It's a blessing amongst the other challenges.  That's for sure!  
DX 4/10 4.5 cm lump 5 of 14 nodes positive Had bilat mast chemo (AC&Taxol) and Radiation. Clear PET scan 10/10. Recurrence in 3 nodes 1/11. Starting Carboplatin & Gemcitabine.

Dawn
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 28 2011 at 2:44pm
Hi Genie ("twin sister")

My Vitamin D level was 17 in December of 2009 when I first had it checked. I've had it checked twice since beginning the Vitamin D3. I take 6000 U per day and as of mid December 2010 mine was 52.8. My GP and oncologist both seem OK with this rate of increase.

God Bless,
Lillie

Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2015-9 yrs NED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LauraT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 28 2011 at 4:35pm
Genie - I too have rosacea and really dry skin, especially in winter.  The chemo did seem to help the rosacea, but I also started taking Vit D, Omega 3 fish oil and some other anti-inflammatory supplements.  In addition to those, I started using skin products that are all-natural.  Don't know which if any of these is doing the trick, but the rosacea is all but gone and my skin has been much less dry this winter.
 
Laura
DX 10/09 @44, Stage I IDC tnbc, DCIS other side, Neoadjuvant TCx4, Bilateral Mastectomy w/Recon 1/10, 1.2cm 0/7 Nodes, 5/11 Mets to Lungs/Lymph Nodes, Avastin/Taxol, 10/11 Bone Mets, Xgeva
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 28 2011 at 7:02pm
Hey, same here.  I have eczema, which cleared up completely during chemo and then came roaring back some months later.  It is now pretty bad, mostly on my left ankle and shins.   I'm afraid to take anything really strong to get rid of it as I did that a few months prior to my cancer diagnosis in 2008.  Probably coincidence, but I have wondered if tweaking my immune system to shut off my eczema also allowed the cancer to flourish.
d
DX 2/08@43 stg II IDC; gr2,0 nodes. Neoadj chemo, first ACx2 (fail) then CarboTaxotereX6(better). Lump, Rads done 11/08; Clodronate. False alarm queen: PetCT lung & TM marker. NED. PBM w/recon 9/10.
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Genie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Genie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 28 2011 at 9:00pm
Lillie (my twin sister),
It sounds like it would be beneficial to me to up my amount of D3. Because of the rosacea I try not to be out in the sun much and that may be why my levels tend to be low.

Laura & d,
I do not have dry skin, even in the winter, but I tend to have more outbreaks of rosacea & psorasis during the winter. My dermatologist gives me steroid injections occasionally when they become unbearable. Now I wonder about the effects of that on my immune system and having TN. I'm beginning to believe more and more that we all have cancer cells but that they are activated by stress, compromised immune systems and environmental conditions.

Hugs,
Genie
DX 3/10/08 at age 67, IDC. Stage 1, Grade 3, 1.5 cm.
KI-67 99% at MX . Bilateral mastectomy 4/1/08 Node-, BRCA 1/2-,BARD1+, TX:Cytoxan/Taxotere x4,3 in family with TNBC
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