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Request for tips for radiation treatment

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K in Sugar Land View Drop Down

Joined: May 30 2011
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    Posted: Sep 23 2011 at 6:54pm
I will be starting radiation treatment in about three weeks.  I am interested in learning ways to help manage radiation treatment. 
  • I understand proactive care of the skin is important.  I have heard the following products have been used by women in the past:  QV Cream, Aquaphor, Radiplex cream, Domborro solution, XClair cream, Aloe (plant), Udderly smooth, Biofine, Emu oil.  I have heard that skin products containing alcohol should be avoided.  Dove unscented soap has also been recommended as a soap to use.  Was there a skin care product that you found to be especially helpful to deal with radiation treatments?
  • My doctor has not discussed nutrition but I have read that it is recommended to increase protein and calorie Tongue intake while on radiation treatment.  I'm not sure I understand why this is so.  Any nutritional advice that was helpful to you?
  • This forum has been such a blessing to me, on an emotional and supportive level and on a practical advice level.   I read the posts and advice every day.  Thanks to all for your continued commitment to all of us in the tnbc community. 


Dx IDC TNBC MDA2/11 age 51 T2N0M0 Grd 3 4.8cm BRCA- vitD22 Taxol 12wk FAC once 3 wk for 12 wk Complete chemo8/11 Tumor not seen on scans Lumpsurgery 0/4 nodes9/11 pCR 30rads done11/11 NED vitD3903/12
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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: Sep 23 2011 at 7:08pm
Hi K, here's what worked for me
    8,000 IU of Vit D before and during treatment. My Google searches found that it helps to enhance the efficacy of the treatments and in my case it also seemed to help with the radiation burn itself (anicdotal information but it's all I've got, sorry)
   I was told to cut out antioxidant supplements. Since I'm ornery I did as told but since I found conflicting information on this I decided to go for the real thing and ate tons and tons of fruit while on the treatment.
   I had long drives to and from the treatments and I found that the only really tiredness I experienced was for about 1/2 hour after treatment so I carried with me a bottle of high dose liquid Vitamin B mix and it really helped.
   The treatments themselves, I thought and I still think that it's important to ask for a thyroid shield to be used during the treatments. It takes an extra 30 seconds to put into place and is no biggie but I felt that some of my support team here were right when they suggested it.
   Clothes: get some cheap throwaway tanks that are very loose. Whether it's aloe stains or cream stains that you get after treatment or just feeling more comfortable not having something touch the area, the tanks are really great.
   I was told to not use any deoderant under the radiated arm or to use one like Tom's that didn't have any metals in it.
   All in all I found that I really didn't see any burning or side effects until about the 4th week and then (and I'll always think it was the Vit D) I only had very minor burning, remember the treatment kind of works from the inside out so it all takes awhile for things to work their way to the surface.
  Best of luck to you! M
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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Charlene View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charlene Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 23 2011 at 8:08pm
Hi, K,
I found whole breast radiation to be really easy after chemotherapy.  I took a multi-vitamin, just like I did during chemo.  I used Tom's deodorant, and when my skin became slightly irritated a few weeks into the treatment, I used Aquaphor.  I had radiation first thing in the morning, so I never put anything at all on until after I had had my treatment for the day.  I wore cotton bras with no underwires and loose cotton T-shirts whenever I could.  I only allowed lukewarm water, never hot, to touch my breast area during treatment.  I hope everything goes very smoothly for you!
DX 3/10 @59 ILC/TNBC
Stage 1, Grade 2, Multifocal; Lumpectomy/re-excision
SNB 0/4 nodes, BRCA-; Taxotere/Cytoxan X4, 30 rads
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Barbi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 23 2011 at 8:10pm
My radiation oncologist basically said don't use anything, but after a couple of weeks gave me a huge tube of Nivea to use if I wanted. I believe they also had aquafor for those that needed something.  I didn't see a lot of burning, but did get red about week 4.  My axilla got really tight on the inside (not the skin) and felt burnt and she asked me to back off of stretching the area. The axilla did get brownish and was the first thing to peel after treatment was over. It was so much better than chemo that I don't think I minded too much!
10/10,age49,St3,gr3,5+cm,1 node,BRCA-,T+Cisplatin+Rad0001(or placebo),Lump 1+cm,AND 0/15,AC,rads finished 7/6/11.Mets bone, liver,mamm node 8/11,abrax/tigatuzamab failed.Started bicalutamide 11/16/11.
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kirby View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 24 2011 at 1:44am
you may want to check the news and resource section. A member compiled and made lists for tips for many items such as chemo, questions to ask your dr, etc.

dx Feb. 2001. Age 44

2cm. no nodes stage 1 grade 3

4 rnds AC, 35 rads
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123Donna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 24 2011 at 11:45am

I found Aquaphor to help the best.  I used it from the very beginning of treatment.  When the burns got bad, aloe from the plant helped soothe the wound.  I had the pure aloe in a tube but it just didn't work the same as the actual plant.  I used a neutrogena soap also.

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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Grateful for today View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grateful for today Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 25 2011 at 7:36pm
Hi K,

If you will be having tattoos placed and not done yet, here's something to consider.
Some places do not do tattoos for radiation, other do.
Also depends which fields which will have radiation. Following may not be an issue for you.

BEFORE tattoos are placed in the mapping (planning-simulation) session, ask if special attention
could be given to the highest, most central tattoo on the chest (area that may show with V-necked
tops),   In my experience, the highest, most central tattoo turned out to be the most visible one.....
largest and darkest !
Afterwards, I asked the staff to consider to review how they do the highest, most central tattoo......
......questioned if some staff used techniques to keep this tattoo smaller and less dark.....such as
if three marks made with same inking was the 3rd one the lightest? Did it make a difference in how
the tattoo marker was held?   By bringing up the matter, staff may be able to avoid having the central,
high one the darker, larger one.
When I spoke with others, no one else seemed to have been concerned. Since the info sheet had said
that the tattoo mark would be pin point, I did not expect a pin head mark. For some people this might
be semantics, for me, it was incorrect info. After pointing this out to the nurse in the radiation dept,
she changed the info sheet.   Most tattoo info seems to say head of pin/mm/small.

Again, for most people this did not seem to be an issue.

With caring and positive thoughts,

Grateful for today..............Judy
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