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Radiation burns
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laramin posted:
Hi everyone, Im back in need of more advice. Please help...
I am on the last leg of radiation (3 more boosts to go) and I was told that it gets worst before it gets better. And they were right, my breast up to my arm pit are burnt, toasted - I think to a point of 3rd degree burn. I have blisters that are opening up and they are itchy and painful and they keep me awake at night. I was given radiaderm, aquaphor and Prutect ointments but they only give tmeporary relief..Please someone let me know if this has happened and how long did it take the itchiness and skin breaking to stop and heal? And is there anything else I need to try? I did aloe vera but it does not help either...
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judyfams responded:
I am so sorry that you are having such horrible problems with radiation.
I had severe redness so they stopped the radiation on a Wed. and i began again on the following Mon. - so i was off rads for 4 conseutive days. Is it possible for you to stop rads for a few days and then go back and finish the last 3 boosts? My RO gave me a prescription cream (Idon't remember the name of it) just in case the skin broke open -which it did not in my case.
I was also told that EMU oil is wonderful. I too found no relief with aloe or aquaphor. I did not wear a bra for the last week or two. I just wore a very big, loose sweat shirt and then used ice packs over that sweatshirt on the breast. I iced my breast all the time. In the shower DO NOT let the shower spray on the breast - that really hurts! Keep the skin under the breast dry. I would just hold my breast up so the air could get at the skin under the breast.
Ask your RO for a prescription cream to deal with the itching and the broken skin.
The breast did heal, but I did not wear a bra when I was home after I finished radiation. I still did the ice and my breast did heal. I did not have EMU oil but read about it. You can purchase it on the internet.
Please contact your RO and see what more can be done with prescription creams to treat the burns and itching.
Let us know how you are coming along.
Judy
 
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mhall6252 responded:
Laramin - I'm so sorry you are finding these last radiation treatments so painful. I just finished mine on 1/12 so I know exactly what you are talking about. I did find relief with aquaphor, but we are all different. Also, my RO made sure I had pain meds so I could sleep at night.

Unfortunately, there is a delayed reaction from radiation. So your treatment today will cause burning and blisters probably through the end of next week (I'm just now healing from the last of mine). I used 1% cortisone cream on itchy spots (but I didn't put it on open skin...not sure if it would have stung). I found that the gauze impregnated with Aquaphor, then covered with an abdominal pad, helped me tremendously. These are OTC things that your RO should be able to provide to you.

Hang in there, it will soon be over and a distant memory.

Hugs,
Michelle
Michelle
Read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com
Smile and the world smiles with you!
 
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laramin replied to mhall6252's response:
Thanks Michelle and Judy! I was told today I only had 1 more to go and blisters are all opened now. I will just get done and just take pain meds. I dont know why I never thought of taking pain meds for this!
I did stop wearing a bra. I havent done the ice pack because it was on the "not to do list" they gave me but maybe just not to put directly on the skin.

I was given the cortisone cream but they said it was too late becuase all the blisters are starting to open up and I cant apply on open wound. I will have to try the gauze with aquaphor but not quite sure what is an ab pad? Ill have to google that one along with EMU oil! I almost did "RO"...Ha Ha! I think once the creams fade thats when it starts getting painful again. I just never thought to cover them.

Thanks so much again! I cant wait for my last boost!
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
Here is a link to post that addressed a cream for burns:

http://forums.webmd.com/3/breast-cancer-exchange/tip/56

I'm sorry you are experiencing this pain - sending you healing thoughts for relief soon!

Haylen
 
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rachael67 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
Haylen, unfortunately the link you gave leads nowhere!

May I suggest that those interested begin by typing "radiation burns" in the upper right hand search for this site. They will then see all the posts with rads burns in them. On those posts they can then look to the left and see they can make a choice for "Tips"...Do so, and it will lead you to the tips which members have thought helpful. Here is one:

6 months ago
Radiation Burns Lukeperry posted: If your having radiation, ask your doctor for "Radiaderm Radiation Relief." The doctor should have free samples.(mine did) It's a advanced skincare system with Lactokine. It's the GREATEST, and if you use it to start with, it will keep you from getting burned.

There are two steps to it, the 1st lotion(gel) is to be put on right after your treatment.(before you get dressed) It soothes your burn and feels great! The 2nd lotion is to be put on 3 times a day.(if you can)Good luck.

Luke
Always listen for what is in the silence and see what is invisible...That's where miracles hide, and it can make all the difference!
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to rachael67's response:
That's the post I linked to...It just worked for me...did you get a 404 error?
 
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rachael67 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
As I recall it was a 404...I think it said no such site??? Haylen, you are asking me to remember something!!!! Ugh!!

Rachael;)
Always listen for what is in the silence and see what is invisible...That's where miracles hide, and it can make all the difference!
 
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rachael67 replied to rachael67's response:
YEP!!! Just did it again to double check...404!!

R
Always listen for what is in the silence and see what is invisible...That's where miracles hide, and it can make all the difference!
 
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mhall6252 replied to laramin's response:
Laramin - the "ab pads" are just large abdominal pads that are usually used after a surgical procedure to protect the area. I used them on top of the gauze with Aquaphor to protect and cushion the area. And they protect your clothing from the "greasiness."

I did use a cold compress a few times (not an ice pack, just a cold facecloth). I'd be careful using an ice pack as the skin is already damaged and very sensitive.
Michelle
Read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com
Smile and the world smiles with you!
 
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GGrandmaJan replied to rachael67's response:
Say, Rachael, I just clicked on the link and I got it just fine. Wonder if your computer? Have you done a de-frag or disk clean-up lately? I do both of those things every week. When we go on FB who knows what we might pick up on our 'puters. Just a thought.

Hope it works out for you.
Jan
 
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rachael67 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
Okey-dokey! For whatever reason, it decided to come out of hiding today!! Maybe it was a problem yesterday so that we could suggest folks check in the "Tips"? I'd much rather think that than that it just didn't like me!!

Rachael
Always listen for what is in the silence and see what is invisible...That's where miracles hide, and it can make all the difference!
 
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sadblossom responded:
My goodness have I been there! I am so sorry you are having a time with Rad treatments like I had.
I will get right to the point....I tried it all......and this is the ONLY thing that worked for me..........
1.Ice cold water soaked wash cloths laying on all burnt areas, helps draw out the heat, rads burn for a long period of time after treatments stop, so continue until there is no discomfort at all.
2. Ice packs day and night bring much needed relief. Even ice in a double zip loc bag will help.
3. Cortizone creme applied as directed on tube, ice packs over that too. Alternate cort creme and antibiotic creme. Over the counter is fine just follow directions on tube.
4.Kitchen corn starch used like bath powder once the burns are 'closed'. And ice packs over this as well.
5. Do not bathe in soapy hot water.Bathe in tempid water.Do not 'scrub' that area, just rinse over it with a slightly soapy cloth and rinse extremely well with clear tempid/cool water. Use a VERY gentle bath soap as in 'Ivory' or 'Aveeno'. Only use a little on that radiated area.
6.Go braless and in cool cotton T-shirts every chance you get.Mine was so bad I went braless for a very long time.
7.Do not over heat.
8.Get meds to help you relax and sleep if necessary. I took/take Xanax. Taken as directed, it will not hurt you.
This will take a period of time to clear up but it WILL get back to normal as far as your skin goes.It WILL improve. Give it time.
Key word is keep it 'COOL'. No sun on it, no warm water.Any type of warmth will increase pain and itch.
Hope this helps. I am 2 years out and my skin finally looks and feels normal. I carried ice packs,extra zip locs and corn starch with me everywhere I went. My worst complaint was the itch, The list above is how I managed it.
Best of luck and please stay in touch. I will pray for you.
Blessings.......
Pat~sadblossom
 
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rachael67 replied to sadblossom's response:
Pat, have you posted these suggestions in the "Tips"? If not, it might prove very helpful to those who have to deal with this in the future as well.

Some great suggestions.

Blessings.
Rachael
Always listen for what is in the silence and see what is invisible...That's where miracles hide, and it can make all the difference!
 
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laramin replied to sadblossom's response:
I truly appreciate everyone's suggestions.
I tried the cold water on wash cloth and noticed that everytime I do that, my skin starts to peel. Is that supposed to happen? I have 2nd degree burns on most of my breast and my arm pit. So I I stopped for fear that I will start peeling some more or get more blisters.
Gauze with aquaphor and burn ointment from doc works since it keeps the ointment on, I have not gotten the ab pads (thanks Michelle, I did google) so I just use surgical tape to keep the gauze on but I can only put the tape on the unaffected area so I can only cover so much. Have a hard time on the arm pit area.
I have been using Ivory as directed before I got burnt. Now I am just afraid to get the area wet so I have not taken a full shower for a day now.
I just take tylenol/motrin at night for the pain. I still wake up itchy and in pain once those wear off.
Yes Pat, I agrree, itchiness is the worst!
Haylen, Im in CA and not enjoying the 80 degree weather much... my poor kids too! Im hoping that the weather stays like this til next week so I can celebrate my end of treatment next weekend!
Michelle- Im also done with treatments now. Please let me know if you are having any reconstruction done?
Thanks again everyone!!!!


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