CSN Login
Members Online: 13

What Do You Think Of Offering Rad Tips For Those That Are Just Starting Treatment Now Or Soon?

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

I know when I started rads, this board was unbelievable in the tips and help that I got, so, I thought we might throw out a few tips for anyone just starting.

First and foremost though, do only what your own rads oncologist suggests. These tips are just what we did, per our own rads oncologist's approval.

For mine...Use your creams from day one if your rads oncologist prescribes some and continue to use them for awhile even after you are finished with rads as you are still "cooking". I used Aquaphor to keep my skin moist and I used the prescription Biafine for any burn that I might get. I went thru a lot of Aquaphor. I mainly used it at night and put on one of my hubby's old tshirts, as, it stains bad. So, I knew I could wash it in hot water or just throw it away when I was finished with rads.

Sue :)

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Do not use any deodorant with aluminum, which I think most have. My rads oncologist said I could use Tom's of Maine, since it was aluminum free.

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Yes, I was told to use Tom's too, but, I never used it as I didn't sweat at all under the arm where my node was taken. And, I still don't sweat there or anywhere where I had rads.

Thanks Kylez!

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Back when I had radiation if the burn was bad enough they would give me Radia Care Gel sheets which were quite soothing. They stay in the fridge and when applied they are cool which feels great. They are expensive, they are sold on Amazon here is a link, you'll need to copy and past it.

http://www.amazon.com/Carrington-CA101052-Radiacare-Inch-Sheets/dp/B001SINCG2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qi[phone number redacted]63&sr=8-1

Another thing that you can do while having radiation is to lightly dust the radiated area with corn starch (yes the stuff in your kitchen.) I was instructed to made a corn starch dust ball of sorts using cheese cloth or a stocking (sock) tying off the end. This really worked well as it made it easy to apply lightly. The cornstarch helps to keep the radiated area from chafing. I also used Aloe Vera gel regularly which was very soothing.

Hope you find this helpful.

RE

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Great tip Re to put the sheets in the fridge. I remember someone saying they used Aloe Vera gel and they kept it in the fridge too to make it cool when you put it on.

Thanks,

Sue :)

BetsyJane's picture
BetsyJane
Posts: 127
Joined: Aug 2011

I am just starting radiation treatment. Actually, I have had six so far. I would really appreciate any and all tips I can get. You pink sisters are the BEST!

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Bumping up for newbies

debi.18's picture
debi.18
Posts: 849
Joined: Jun 2011

I had my first one today. My rad onc didn't give me any prescription creams yets, said would wait to see if I needed them. Said lubriderm and aloe were good to use for now.

Taking notes of all the tips. Thanks ladies!

Hugs,
Debi

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Perfect timing then to start this post to help you pinkies out that are starting. You use whatever your rads oncologist says to use Debi.

It takes a few weeks before you see or feel anything going on, but, I feel it is important to start right off taking good care of your skin.

Good luck sisters that are starting. Keep us updated on how you do.

Sue :)

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

How are you doing Debi?

sylvan
Posts: 66
Joined: Nov 2011

They told me to keep damp wash cloths in the fridge and put them on my burned areas when they bothered me.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

I failed chemo hahaha but did great in rads. I started using aquaphor prior to starting rads. then I used it 3 times a day faithfully. didnt wear it prior to radiation treatment but then applied it in the dressing room. Traci suggested wearing a man's tee shirt at night as the aquaphor stains. It worked great.

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Good tip Sylvan! I hadn't heard of that one, so, thanks.

Aquaphor was my best friend I think Carkris! I was a greasy mess, but, I know it helped my skin.

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

I also used Aquaphor at night and even for a few months after I graduated from rads. You are right, it does stain, so I used an old tshirt also.

Thanks Ritzy!

madsters1
Posts: 120
Joined: Oct 2011

Did you have to stop chemo? Is that what you mean by failing chemo or were you just kidding??

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

oh yes dont rub in the shower only pat the area dry.

chenheart's picture
chenheart
Posts: 5182
Joined: Apr 2003

Great advice, all!! NEVER use soaps with dyes, perfumes or additives~ and as Carkris mentioned don't, don't, don't rub your skin! Even if it doesn't look burned, it is, and rubbing it is one of the worst things you can possibly do!
When showering, I used Aveeno body wash~ it is colloidal oatmeal ( skin soothing) and a natural sea sponge. I saturated the sponge with water, put Aveeno on it, made bubbles and squeezed the warm bubbles over my skin~ NEVER allowing the sponge to touch my skin. ( have I made the no rubbing part clear??? LOL) I also didn't have the water temperature too hot either.
The rad center I went to had tubes of Aquaphor for the taking~ I slathered that on profusely~ I also went bra-less and wore a big man's shirt~ one which could get stained. I worked as a caregiver in the home of an elderly woman~ she didn't care thankfuly how I dressed! This "outfit" might not have worked so well in corporate America! :-)

I was also told that if I started itching ( which I eventually did) to ask my Dr. for a prescription of Cortisone cream~ the OTC brands would not be strong enough to take care of the itch.

As with chemo~ drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated!

Hugs,
Chen♥

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Get lots and I mean lots of rest. It is strange, but, all of a sudden the exhaustion will sneak up on you.

I didn't notice anything for a few weeks, no changes in my skin, nothing, and, then my skin started getting tender and I was needed a nap during the day.

Try to eat healthy too and drink as much water as you can.

All good advice and good luck to everyone.

Hugs, Megan

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

Kicking this up

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Never rub the radiated area, just patting it dry is good advice!

sylvan
Posts: 66
Joined: Nov 2011

No deodorant soaps.

debi.18's picture
debi.18
Posts: 849
Joined: Jun 2011

With all this great advise, I'm sure I'm going to pass rads with an A+.

One down, 32 more to go~

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

The only soap I used was Dove, the unscented kind. My rads oncologist suggested it, but, I was already using it. And, never rub that area, be gentle with it. Thanks Sylvan!

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

I wore underwire bras, and, I was told not to. I bought some camisole's to wear, but, usually just went without anything.

With the weather getting cool now, you can put on baggy, big clothes and no one will know.

Lex

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2067
Joined: Dec 2010

I never heard of Aqua Phor or anything else. I was not told anything, it was a friend, Gagee who told me to come on this site and what to do when I told her my skin was cracking after about 10 days.

So I agree with all of the above, use the creams from day one. Use Dove unscented or another soap with no perfumes, and get rest when you need it.

ladyg's picture
ladyg
Posts: 1577
Joined: Apr 2010

I used Aquaphor at night and a light application early in the morning. When I was getting dressed after my treatment I used Calendula Gel. It worked well and is not greasy so it does not stain your clothes. Another deoderant that is acceptable is Herbal Clear Sport. It also does not contain aluminum. Good wishes for all who are just starting rads.

Hugs,
Georgia

MellieMc's picture
MellieMc
Posts: 35
Joined: Nov 2011

I will be have rads later. These are great tips. I bought some post op camis from women's worlds they were much cheaper than others I had seen. I'm hoping these wlll work for rad treatment. I bought them big!

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I think what you bought MellieMc will work great for you. I went braless and wore big, oversized tops. My skin got really tender and I didn't want anything too snug on it.

Leeza

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

How are you doing Mellie? Did you start yet?

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Calendula gel is also very good to use or the Aloe Vera gel. The Aloe Vera doesn't stain either, but, it is greasy. Just keep your skin moisturized with something.

Jan

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Bumping

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

How are all of you doing that are having rads now?

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Bumping up for Mellie Mc!

52262
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2012

Thank you for the advice. I start my rads at the end of this month June. So where can one find calendula gel?

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Fantastic advice! Just wanted to remind those starting that you shouldn't put anything on your skin, creams etc., at least 4 hours prior to your treatment.

Lighthouse_7's picture
Lighthouse_7
Posts: 1566
Joined: Jan 2010

Great advice! Everything pretty much covered here. I was told by my rad doc not to use deodorant at all on that side so I didn't. I didn't sweat there either during rads at all. She also said only Dove non scented soap and no bra. Since I am too large chested to go w/out a bra for the other side, I wore them but got irritation under the radiated breast so I used white men's hankies folded up in between my skin and the bra.
The most important thing was to cream always! I put it on after rads in the dressing room and again at night before bed. They gave me three kinds, aloe at first, aquaphor and something called Wound Care when I started to burn on my upper color bone.

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

I agree that getting plenty of rest and keeping your creams on is the most important.

I used Aquaphor, Biafine and Aloe Vera gel.

Hugs, Jan

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

For anyone starting rads, this has great tips for you.

BetsyJane's picture
BetsyJane
Posts: 127
Joined: Aug 2011

I just finished my 7th treatment.

Today my radiation doctor told me not to take Vitamin "E" or any other antioxidants during my radiation treatments. I told her I was taking liquid Resvinatrol which is loaded with antioxidents. I was told to stop taking this until my treatments were finished.

I am following many of your helpful tips....thank you pink sisters.

Twenty-six days and counting. Can't wait till I become a rad-grad :-)

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I was told to not take any vitamins during rads as you don't want your good or bad cells getting any nourishment to stay healthy. You want the cancer cells weak so the rads will kill them.

Leeza

52262
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2012

Wow what a piece of news that is to me. I'm glad for this blog site. Thank you for sharing this.

Imadandy's picture
Imadandy
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2011

This scares me, as my Oncologist just put me on Vitamin E tablets twice a day for hot flashes. He didn't say anything about it helping the bad cells grow! I'm currently still on chemotherapy and won't start radiation for at least 11 more weeks. I wonder if I need to bring this up with the doctor at my next appointment...

The Vitamin E actually helped calm down the hot flashes so this is a bummer to hear! The other option he gave me was going on Effexor and I'd rather not put more drugs in my system if I don't need to!

Has anyone else been told this regarding Vitamins?

Tracie

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Always ask your own rads oncologist about any vitamins Tracie. I was told to take nothing too.

Jan

52262
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2012

I have been on effexor for about a year or more and have noticed I dont get the hot flashes but I get the large amount of sweating. Since the chemo induced menopause I feel like this cancer experience has aged me five to ten years more.I'm going to use the advice of not taking any vitamins or supplements during the rad tx.

Tux's picture
Tux
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 2009

I completed rads more than 2 years ago & here is what I learned:

1. As other posters have said, follow the instructions of your rad onc & his staff.
Ask questions if you need to.

2. I was a teacher (now retired), so I had to wear a bra every day. The nurse told me
to buy cotton bras in a larger size, so I bought the "Just My Size" cotton bras at my local discount store. I was able to wear a bra every day.

3. Near the end the burns were pretty bad, and the nurse had me use "Domeboro Soaks"
from my local drugstore. I did not have to stop rads, but the burns were pretty bad.
The soaks helped.

4. I was absolutely determined to get through it. I felt "yucky" near the end, but kept myself going with cool drinks, mints, & Vicks salve.

You can get through it, too! Keep us posted.

Corinna11's picture
Corinna11
Posts: 75
Joined: May 2011

Cabbage leaves on the treated area right after treatment works well for me. Creams on every night and a veggie juice once a day. Have about 10 treatments to go and I am very pink almost red. Getting tired so I try to take a nap when I can and when I am itchy there I use 'Keys Redi-Care spray' totally natural and organic and feels good. Hope that helps! :)
Cory :D

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Wow, I've never heard of cabbage leaves. I will ask my rads oncologist about that when I see him next, to see if he has heard of it.

And, good luck to all you with rads! Keep us updated!

Thanks Cory!

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

For Naomib who's just starting rads

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

For Naomib who's just starting rads

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

I remember the room being so cold, so, long pants and socks is a good idea. The techs also put a warm blanket on me every time which I needed.

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

I found those bras Tux at Walmart and they were great!

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network