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What can I do to stop the itch?

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

I feel silly asking this, with all of the serious issues Sisters here are dealing with. But I am having a hard time with itching. It's intense. I'm scratching my poor breast raw. I am post-lumpectomy since May, post-rads since end of August, on Tamoxifen for about a month. Still using generic Biafine (Prutext) or Aquaphor daily. Anything out there I can take/do for some relief? Thanks, in advance, for taking the time to reply.

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1829
Joined: Jul 2009

First of all -- DON'T feel silly asking questions! We're here to help each other, and there's no reason your recovery needs to be any more difficult than it already is!

After I healed from radiation, I also had frequent, intense bouts of itching, particularly around my lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy scars. It gradually got less and less over the first year, but even still (2 1/2 years since radiation ended), I sometimes get a little mild itching around the scars.

Definitely call your radiation oncologist's office, and ask what he/she recommends -- there's no reason to suffer, and they're experts on skin healing from radiation. I had a prescription cream immediately after radiation to help with the itching (I'm sorry, I don't remember what it was called) -- once it lessened, my doctor told me just to use over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

Hope that helps?

Traci

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

You might have what I had and it was from the radiation. It was a rash and it itched something terrible. The over the counter cortisone creams did not work for me, so, my rads oncologist gave me a prescription. It worked! See if you can get some. It is Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream. The itching started going away pretty quick. Good luck!

Sue :)

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I totally agree with Traci...you always need to ask those questions. Nothing is too small or too big to talk about here.

With skin issues I have good results with lidocane creams, the numbing usually gives me the relief I need.. Of course, it's something to talk with your rads onc about.

Good luck and let us know what works.

Hugs,

Linda

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

I used the same cream that Ritzy used. Ask your rads oncologist about it. I am sure he can give you something to help.

Good luck!

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

Thanks, Sue and Noel, for that specific cream you suggest. Sounds like that is what I need and I am calling my rad onc today!
And thanks, Traci and Linda, for so graciously validating me. Linda, who is going through so many difficulties, is such an inspiration. My stupid issues seem so small compared to the tough times you have had. I hope you know how much your words and support mean to me.

Teary hugs...

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

Did you get some help from your rads oncologist for the itching? And, never say any issue you have is stupid! Every issue we have is just as important as the next one. No one's take precedence over anyone else's.

Hugs, Lex

debsweb18
Posts: 190
Joined: Jun 2012

That will make it worse! I started with a rash on my upper chest and started scratching. I didn't realize my radiation treatments were going that high and that's what it was from. Where I scratched was much worse during the rest of treatment. OTC cortisone helped some, but not completely. Aquaphor with lidocaine (the RO mixed it up for me) helped. Then I started adding aloe gel to Aquaphor.

And I agree-it's not stupid! We're all at different stages of treatments and some have more than others. But we've all one difficulty or another and they're all important!

And did I say "Don't Scratch"?

Deb

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

What did he say? Did you get a cream to help yet?

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

I have had skin allergies for decades, so I was not surprised when itching
started. I am already on meds to control it, but I have found that OTC
hydrocortisonecream has helped. Also, I got some roll-on stuff to
carry in my purse. Hope you can get some relief!

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

And thanks again for the validation. I promise not to characterize a complaint as "silly" again!

My rad onc's assistant had me trying all of these over-the-counter creams but nothing has given me any sustained relief. So we just talked and she is calling in a prescription for Atarex. Said it should stop the itching...and help me sleep too (since I don't do much of that). She said they don't like to prescribe steroid-based creams, like the one recommended by several of you above (triamcinolone acetonide), but I may insist on trying it if this doesn't work for me.

I'll update in a few days...and thanks so much!

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

Just glad that your onco is giving you something to help. I hope it does. If it doesn't, please try the cream.

Sleep? What's that? lol

Get some sleep and stop that itching and always post anything that bothers you. That's why we're here.

Good luck,

Noel

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8220
Joined: Aug 2009

no such thing of a 'silly' question when it comes to breast cancer. We are all
different, and react differently from chemo, drugs, or radiation.

Side efforts continue to plague many us ... months, even years after our treatment
has ended.

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.

Vicki Sam

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

Really hoping it will work! Why did your onco not want you to use the cream? It worked for me almost immediately.

Good luck to you,

Sue :)

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

Wondering how the atarex is working also. Are you doing ok now? No more itching?

Leeza

lintx's picture
lintx
Posts: 456
Joined: Sep 2012

I've been thinking about you bc we started our Tamoxifen together. I haven't noticed se's. How about you? Also thinking about you living close to the Jersey shore and the storm, Sandy. Give us a heads up asap. Hugs, Linda

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

Atty girl, how are you? It's been awhile since you posted.

Hugs, Debby

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

Thanks for asking...and noticing! Hope you are well! See my update...
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Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

Sounds like you are well! See my update...
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Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

Hope you dolls are well! See my latest update...

pinkkari09's picture
pinkkari09
Posts: 878
Joined: Sep 2009

Try not to itch, easier said than done. Get on the phone with Doc or go in and get yourself some relief. I itched my left side a lot, and i can't even feel that boob, but I can feel an itch, wierd. Hope you get relief soon!
Miles of Love,
~Kari

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

My boob is numb, too! So it is crazy that we can feel the itching! Hope you are well. See my update...

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

For a few reasons...found myself feeling a deep sadness after Nancy died (she was so special here); overdue for and worried about my 6 months mammo ; and we lost electricity for 6 days after Superstorm Sandy devastated my area. My home and family came out unscathed -no damage and no flooding- thanks be to God. But so many others in my area are suffering tremendous losses. Those things, coupled with the arduous application process for high school for my daughter, and the presidential election craziness, has my head spinning.

That itch I was complaining about? Still bothering me!

I filled the prescription for the Atarex but got discouraged when my rad onc and med onc were initially reluctant to say that it was ok to take it with Tamoxifen. A simple question that took days to resolve. Finally my med onc's office called and said it was fine, after I left a very frustrated voicemail message. The whole back and forth was ridiculous. I have yet to take the damn pill. I just stopped caring about the stupid itch. So many other things on my mind.

Tamoxifen side effects? Thanks for asking. I started out having some intense muscle, joint aches and pains, but those have subsided dramatically. I am still having some intense hot flashes though! Otherwise, it's been ok. I've only forgotten to take it 3 times since 9/17! Lol

I am so grateful that I can come back to this space and ya'll are still here, caring. What a blessing.

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

Glad that you survived Sandy! It is beyond awful what has happened in the East. I hope that when you do take the Atarex that it will help you with the itching.

Take care,

Leeza

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

We were very lucky. But my state is DEVASTATED. It is beyond comprehension.

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

I've been praying for all of you on the East coast. I can't imagine how horrible this has all been for all of you. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone there.

You take care,

Leeza

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

Is your itch all gone now? I remember how horrible it was, but, the cream my rads oncologist gave me, cleared it up right away.

Sue :)

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

The itch has subsided pretty dramatically!
I have been taking Atarax, but not every day. What I have been doing everyday is slathering my entire breast with Aquaphor. It is doing/feeling so much better! And the Atarax is helping me sleep.
Now...if I could just get something for these hot flashes! Whew!

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

The itch isn't gone yet? Just glad it is better. How many more rads do you have left?

Hugs, Debby

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

Itch is 99% gone.
Finished rads on 8/29!
Now just trying to wrap my brain around everything that has happened in the last 6 months!

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

Congrats on finishing rads and on the itch being 99% gone! WTG!

Hugs, Debby

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

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