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Post Radiation Burns & Yeast Infection of Breast
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bjstrio posted:
I finished my rads and boost last Thursday. I am miserable with severe burns, weeping of wounds, & my Rad Oncologist says I have a yeast infection of the breast too. He has me doing Domeboro soaks, Silver Sulfadiazine Cream, Diflucan for the yeast and Oxycodone for the pain. I am also having shap shooting pains in the breast. The weeping of the wounds gets my shirts wet as if I was nursing a baby. He said I burned so bad because my skin is sensitive & the location of the cancer cells was hard to treat. My cancer was on the underside of my breast & I was blessed with larger breasts (thinking not such a blessing after all). Since I am in my 50's the "girls" hang down against my torso creating a warm moist environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. I have to gently pat to clean the area & the skin is falling off which makes it hurt to put the ointments on. My oncologist looked at it too & said it looked painful...DUH!
Anyone else gone thru this? I need HOPE it will be better soon. Any suggestions? I would like to put some kind of dressing on it if possible to catch some of the weeping. (can't stand having wet clothes on) but I am afraid anything sticking to the wounds would kill me if I tried to change it.
I think I need back on the PINKIE Bus to take a ride and forget my misery.
Thanks,
Barbara
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rachael67 responded:
Oh, Barbara! That certainly sounds awful, and I wish I could suggest some sort of instant cure-all! I am glad, however, that the doctor is suggesting things that might help even tho' they aren't instant. And, yes! Pinkie is available for road trips as well as appointments. Just where shall we head, my Friend???? (When our daughter was very little, my DH would drive and she would tell him to turn left or to turn right, and we discovered all sorts of new adventures along the way. How about it you do that?!! )

One practical suggestion I will make: Have you gone to the off-shoot site that was created by one of our members (Melissa...LizzardLee)? It is called Breast Cancer Treatments - the non-toxic way It is filled with good information, and Melissa is very knowledgeable in this area. Post on her site and she might be able to offer some help.

Meanwhile, know that you are in my thoughts. And do let us know how you are doing. Sending gentle hugs!

Blessings.
Rachael
 
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bjstrio replied to rachael67's response:
Thanks Rachael. Yes GENTAL hugs are in order. My father came down from Omaha to see me Sunday & I had to tell him lets skip the hug...
I think letting Pinkie go on auto pilot and surprise me would be great!
I will try her website later today... Just took another pain pill and my pillow is calling me!
 
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rachael67 replied to bjstrio's response:
Hey Barbara!!!!

In case you haven't checked lately, Melissa has several suggestions for you on the alternative treatments site....Check them out. I hope they are helpful! And I hope you are feeling better tonight!

blessings.
Rachael
 
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bjstrio replied to rachael67's response:
Thanks Rachael:
I went to the Radiation Oncologist yesterday and found out what is wrong and why. The skin is falling off and will contine to fall off over the next several days.(very Painful) He said that it will start and is starting to get better even though I can't tell yet. He said there is new skin under the layers that are starting to sluff off. Now keep in mind this isn't like a bad sunburn where you peel. It is much worse. He said most people do not burn this bad & another reason why I did is because the cancer cells were close to the surface of the skin rather than deep in the breast tissue. Since they were just under the skin surface, they had to radiate closer instead of deeper and that is why the skin is breaking down. They did use a gel type form under my breast when they did the rads but it couldn't protect enough for me. They also have me on an antibiotic along with the anti yeast meds to help prevent infection since that would be easy to happen at the momment.
I will go check out her suggestions.
Since my situation is different than most breast cancer rads, if anyone in the future needs my help to get thru...keep me in mind ...might as well have some good coming out of this.

Barbara
 
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rachael67 replied to bjstrio's response:
Glad to hear that the news from your docotr was encouraging...And maybe Melissa's suggestions can help as well. We will continue to hold you in our thoughts.

Thanks for the offer to guide others who might have similar experiences...The great benefit of these exchanges is not only the support and caring that is shared, but the informaiton we share! Often what we have learned through personal experiences, is something even the doctors don't know about. All of us have learned so much from one another. Keep watch as you never know when you will be able to help another!

blessings.
Rachael
 
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1fernehall replied to bjstrio's response:
Hi Barbara: Yes, my tumor was close to the surface, I suffered the same symptoms you are going through. Everything your Dr. has done so far is what mine did, although I used my primary care Dr. to get what was needed. It's hard to believe but it is actually going to get better!!! I was grateful for the antibiotics and silver cream. I used non -stick pads by apply a blob of silver cream over the worst areas and then allowed my breast to fall against my torso to hold it in place (absolutely no tape). On the top portion of the breast I used a simple gauze also "glued" by cream. But the bottom was the most necessary. This is how I kept my clothes clean, hope it'll work for you. You didn't mention a lidocaine cream which helps the burning feeling.

Great news! Tomorrow is my last Radiation Treatment! Yep, I didn't think at times that I would make it; but I did. So can you Barbara, keep on keeping on.

My prayers are with you, Fern
 
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Hroswitha responded:
Dear Barbara,

By now I am sure you must be feeling better, but I write for anyone else who has this problem. It is very painful, and the Domeboro soaks help tremendously. I had my last radiation five days ago, and the burn symptoms began about ten days before that. Today most of the burns have closed and the pain has subsided considerably. I did not have pain pills. I had to do work as usual and dresss accordingly during my radiation, and I found it useful after the Domeboro soak in the morning to dry myself completely (I also have large breasts) and wear an all-cotton bra. I placed sterile gauze pads on my dried skin below my breasts and up my armpit. This kept me dry and I think helped with more rapid healing.
Best wishes from another survivor of breast cancer.
 
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sanahenk replied to Hroswitha's response:
Hi Barbara, your condition seems quite painful, and you are very brave to go through this, and yet not lose hope. I am sure you will overcome this phase. The yeast infection will go away with medication, but about your weeping wounds, you must consult your doc before using any padding. You might like to consult the Breast Cancer Health Center for any advice.
 
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annebourne replied to sanahenk's response:
am glad to have found this place, after searching for help in this area.
i finished my rads 7 days ago, after having 15 rads and 5 boosts, and my tumour was like 1fernhalls, close to the surface. i had a lumpectomy .
i too am a 'larger' breasted lady, and the soreness began in my final week of radiation, but not enough to stop the treatment, which i was happy about.
now, 1 week on and i am sore, and have blisters, and am constantly wet underneath my breast. i hate the wet feeling, and was worried also that it may get infected.
i went to see my GP, who advised me to use gauze pads underneath my breasts to soak up the wetness, and he even dressed it for me for the first time, but he used tape!
OMG the next morning when i removed it to wash.....it took my skin away with it. so for 6 days i have just been using the gauze pads, but i really dont think its even looking like settling down.
i had been using silver suphadine cream which he advised me not to apply any more, because it was just not drying the area, and he was worried in case i got a fungal infection, and this was the main reason for concern.
i apply the gauze and let my breast hold it in place, but i am having to go back to work next week, so i will be wearing my cotton bra to keep it in place........( i am a 38E and cannot go bra-less! ).

i will be phoning my GP again today to see if there is anything else he can suggest to alleiviate the discomfort, and maybe a different cream? it has been very helpful to read all the replies here. i will be looking at the links posted above.
 
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rachael67 replied to annebourne's response:
Anne, you have given your GP a chance and he obviously didn't help a great deal...and hurt with regard to the tape!! (What was his thinking????!!!)

Please contact your rads oncologist! If anyone should know what to do with regard to burns from radiation, certainly he should! If, however, he fails too, please check with someone at a wound center! You can't just keep going on with this. The discomfort as well as the possibility of infection is too high!

Know you will be in our thoughts. Please come back and let us know how you are doing.

blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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KHBUSH responded:
Wow this is exactly me right now. Just called to see what to do-- yep, the soaks, the Vicodin, the silver creme, the wash and pat dry, etc-- though yeast has not YET been diagnosed, but the fact that the large breasts have a major hot damp area for that is a breeding ground! I have also had bleeding where they put on little tapes to mark the booster area, and in a day I reacted with huge blisters-- now the skin is gone and we add bleeding to the other goo for my shirts. I generally am setting a linen handkerchief over the area for some more absorption under my shirt. On the good side, the Dr I spoke with said you will notice a fast turnaround with healing... here's hoping.
 
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GrannyBec replied to Hroswitha's response:
Barbara, I know this original post was 2 yrs ago, but I'm hoping you will read this. I am going through the exact same thing right now - I have 10 days of rads left & underneath my breast is driving me crazy...I am also using the Domeboro soaks with gauze and it does give me relief, but its not taking the burn/yeast infection area away. I am very uncomfortable most of the time. While at home, I can wear a tank top, & gather some of that up & put it under my breast...but at night its awful. You mention gauze pads - are they medicated? Once treatment is over, I am hoping to find something to put on it to cure. Any info/advice you offer would be great! Thanks!
 
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laramin replied to GrannyBec's response:
Im so sorry! I too got burned towards the last week of my rad treatment (the boost did it for me). I didnt get the yeast infection but had the burn. My skin was itchy and would peel off and it happened on the weekend so I couldnt get any medication from the rad onc office. I friend who just finished rads just offered my her sliverdine cream and that helped a lot. I also used a lot of gauze with aquaphor esp at night (this also softens the skin and make it easier to clean). I learned that from one of the wonderful ladies on this site. I just took ibuprofen at night so I can sleep becuase I was in so much pain and was itchy and it gets worst at night. It does get better after a week or so once the new skin starts coming out. For me it was the most painful part of my whole treatment. And once the burn has healed, I started using aloe vera gel on the area. I had rad in Jan and Im still applying aloe vera. Good luck!
 
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juliemartinA replied to GrannyBec's response:
Hi GrannyBec,

You really should try the skin cooler rolls made for cancer patients by a company called Lindi Skin. Instead of gauze, they are made entirely out of an aloe vera gel & they really help make the area feel better instantly and it also seemed to heal faster.

You may be able to find them at a store or you can also order them online.
http://www.lindiskin.com/body/lindi-skin-cooler-roll

Everyone I've told has been really happy with them.
Best of luck!!


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