CSN Login
Members Online: 11

Burning during radiation treatments?

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Hi.  I had a lumpectomy and am now in radiation treatments.  This is my third week and I am already getting pink and am very sore.  Is this normal?  I have weeks to go yet and am worried.

Thanks,

Candi

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

I am sorry that you're worried.  I started getting sore and pink about the 4th week, so, I think it is normal.  Do you have creams to use? 

Rose

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

The 4th week?  So am I starting to turn pink too soon?  :( He gave me a prescription for Biafine, but, that's all.  I have been using it.

 

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

Welcome Candi to the site that no one ever wants to come to.  Everyone reacts differently to rads, so, what we give here is just our own experience.  Yours might be different.

Biafine is great to use.  My rads onco gave it to me too.  Are you using anything else though, like Aquaphor?  You need to keep your skin moist also.

Welcome again,

Diane

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Thanks for the welcome Diane.  I wish I didn't have the need to be here either, but, I really appreciate the feedback.  I don't have aquaphor.  Do I need a prescription for that? 

 

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

No, you can buy it any drug store.  I got the biggest jar they had and used all of it and bought more.  It is really greasy, so, wear something crappy for after you put it on.  It will stain.  An old tshirt or something you could throw away after you're finished with rads.

 

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

I bought a few white mens tees and wore them, used aquaphor, would put it on in the changing room, just kept it slathered. i held up with rads NTM with chemo.

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

They are still deciding on tx, but it looks like radiation will be a part of it.  Am I understanding that you can apply lotion immediately after rad treatments?

 

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 433
Joined: Oct 2012

I started the cream the day I started radiation.  Usually my appointments were in the morning, and so I was to wait to apply the cream after I finished.  (Often I had it with me to put on when I changed out of the gown I had to wear.  A few times I had to go in the afternoon.  The instructions then were to put the cream on in the morning BUT clean it off before coming for my radiation treatment.  Then I would put cream on the area again, after I finished.

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

You can apply it right after, but, you can't have anything on you hours prior to the treatment.  I showered in the morning and didn't put anything on until I got home from my rad treatment. 

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

Taking good care of your skin is so important.  Your rads oncologist should see you, at the least, once a week.  His nurse should take a look at you more than that.  Express any concern you have about your skin. 

Some used Aloe gel on their skin and some even kept it in the fridge, so, it was cool when they put it on.

Always check with your own rads onco before trying something new.

Megan

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

I didn't think I would need to start from day one, but on the advice of my rads oncologist, I did and I am glad I did.  We don't realize that rads are cumulative and even though we can't see anything for awhile, they are hurting our skin.  I was sore and turning pink by the third of fourth week.  I can't remember exactly. 

I had also been wearing an underwire bra and was told to not wear an underwire anymore.  After my skin started being tender, I quit wearing one period.

Good luck and welcome Candi,

Angie

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

You can put your creams on right after rads, but, not before.  Your skin needs to be clean and free of anything.  Slather it on as much as you want when you come out from your treatment.

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

I'll get some aquaphor and I think I will just wear an old shirt of my husband's.  He has some that need to be used as rags anyway.  lol 

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

Biafine is the best to use if you're burning, or even prior to burning.  It's good that you've got that.  Make sure you apply it everyday. 

Everyone keeps saying this but it can't be said enough, use whatever your rads oncologist allows you to use every day.  Don't miss one day. 

When I got sore, instead of wearing a bra, you could wear a camisole if you feel like you need to wear something.

How are you doing today?

Rose

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Still really sore.  I think I will look into getting some camisoles.  Any brand or store you recommend Rose?

Thanks, Canci

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

I just have some soft cotton ones that I bought.  I don't remember what store exactly, but, probably one of the chain stores, like Wal Mart etc.  You may not want anything too close to your skin if you're getting really sore.

Hugs, Rose

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 433
Joined: Oct 2012

Burns can happen in varying degrees.  My RO had me use Miaderm.  As long as the red (aka burn) did not get to the point of oozing, things were good. 

Near the end, I did have some of that ooze.  The RO nurse had me do some easy things to be sure it did not become anything too serious, like infected.  It healed quickly.  What few problems I had did not get me off schedule, and so I was able to finish on time. (I had had surgery, chemo, and then this AND was very eager to get it all behind me and resume life.)

As someone else has inferred, we are individuals.  Each of us can share our experiences and there be differences.  The value of a place like this is that it gives you some idea of what you might encounter.  Over the entire process, from surgery to radiation, I did not seem to match anyone else 100%, but there were things here and there that were helpful to me.

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8272
Joined: Aug 2009

Sisters in PINK are starting to weigh in on your topic..  Good luck, and happy healing.

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.

 

Vicki Sam

 

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

I am sorry you had a hard time with radiaiton desertgirl.  I hope I don't, but, I am a little worried since I am already pink and sore.  Maybe it won't get a lot worse for me?

Thanks, Candi

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 433
Joined: Oct 2012

I guess I didn't see myself as having all that difficult of a time with radiation.  The burns I had to deal with came at the end of the ones before the boost.  They did not prevent the boost.  With the boosts, I had a bit of a problem again, but I got right on top of that as well.  I did heal rather quickly.  

I'd see other people coming to the RO's who had more problems than I did.   Some of them had to stop their treatments for awhile so they could heal.

My biggest difficulty was having to have my arm up in the position I did.  Years ago I dislocated my shoulder "majorly" playing volleyball.  There are positions I have had problems with over the years; but it seemed especially pronounced during my radiation treatments.  The people were really good in trying to help me get comfy because I wasn't, as you know, supposed to move.  The hardest time, though, was the position I had to have that arm in for the boosts.  I just gritted my teeth and told myself, Just deal with it!  The med people felt bad for me because there was only so much they could do -- actually, they told me at the end of it all that they gave me credit for hanging in there.  THIS is probably why I thought my burns weren't all that big of a deal.

JJDS
Posts: 259
Joined: Apr 2013

They had a sling for my arm to lay in which was actually comfortable. 

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

Hey Candi!  Rads aren't easy but you can do it.  I wanted to mention to not rub the area being radiated.  Always be gentle with it and I used unscented Dove white soap. 

I think the most important rule of all is to keep the creams on and a lot of them. 

Keep us updated,

Noel

Rague
Posts: 3310
Joined: Aug 2009

For me, rads were easy (until after as I have said).  I started rads a week after last of 12 weekly Taxol which really 'beat' me up.  Every day on rads felt better and could do more as each day passed.  There is  not a one of us who can tell anyone else what THEIR experiences wil be!  We can each only give what we experienced - not what anyone else will experience.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

June Bugs
Posts: 169
Joined: May 2013

My radiation treatments were not easy at all.  The exhaustion set in and I am hoping that I will get some energy back soon.  My skin is very sore and I am burnt, but, not too bad.  I finished today with my boosters and I am so glad to be done.  My rads oncologist said that my skin will start healing pretty fast and that in a few weeks I should be fine.  He also told me to keep using all of the creams as the effects are cumulative.

Ask me anything Candi and I will try to help you in regards to my own experience. 

 

I wish you good luck,

June

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

I don't think there is any set way for any of us to react to rads.  All of us react differently as to our skin type, the machine, the treatment itself.  I'm sorry you're worried, but, just keep the final goal in mind.  The cancer is being killed!

Have you discussed this with your rads onco?  What did he say?

Jan

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

Just keep a close eye on your skin and let your rads onco know how you are doing every week.

TexasCharlie's picture
TexasCharlie
Posts: 74
Joined: Nov 2012

My RO's nurse did a lengthy demo showing me how to care for my skin. I got some special cream from her, she said they used Auquaphor before they discovered this stuff. I don't know the name but she scooped some into a container for me and it only takes a tiny bit and it works, so far. I'll try and keep you updated on my progress through the radiation treatment and I'll look out for yours. She did say that because I have a little darker skin I may noy have as much troubloe. All I know is, I had a major sunburn when I was 19 which blistered and oozed and I was a mess and ever since then I burn kind of irregular and uneven. I knw this is not exactly sunburn but it's similar.

Take Care and God Bless

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

That's great that they did that for you TexasCharlie.  I wish they would have for me.  They told me some and gave me some pamphlets, but, it seems there is still so much to know.

I've always tanned great, so, I was hoping I would get through this without burning.  Crossing my fingers that I won't burn, or if I do, that it won't be so bad.

I will keep watching for your updates TexasCharlie.  I hope you do great with radiation and thank you.

Candi

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

Welcome Candi Cane!  For the first few weeks, I had nothing, but, kept using a lot of my creams.  Then I started turning a little pink, but, noticed the tenderness first.  I didn't burn, but, got very close to it.  My skin healed up really fast afterwords and is beautiful now, looks better than before as it looks and feels like baby skin now.

Good luck Candi and keep posting.  I hope we can all help you.

Hugs, Kylez

p.s. I was one of the ones that got really tired too.  Rads exhausted me too.

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

You give me hope Kylez.  I am so sore, so pink and so tired.  So glad to have the weekend off with no treatment.

Thank you!

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

I am glad you have the weekend off too Candi.  Try to rest a lot if you can as you need your strength.  Does your rads onco see you weekly?   Check your skin?

 

June Bugs
Posts: 169
Joined: May 2013

Candi, I just finished my treatments and you will too, soon I hope.  Hang in there.  You aren't burnt yet, are you? 

Hugs, June

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

Rads are hard Candi.  Unfortunately, if it is part of our treatment, we have to do them.  I really pray that you won't burn and you might not.  Many of us got as close as you can get probably, but, didn't.  Creams are what you need to keep on your skin!  That is so important.  Aquaphor, put that stuff on, as much as you can to keep your skin in good shape.  Biafine is great too.

And REST!

 

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

Even if you have always been able to get a good tan and not burnt, rads are so different, so, you can't judge from that.  I wish you could though.  However, with the new machines anymore, I don't think there are bad burns anymore, but, I don't know for sure.  My rads onco told me that.

Hang in there!

TexasCharlie's picture
TexasCharlie
Posts: 74
Joined: Nov 2012

I have 7 days to go and the area looks like a lobster's shell but it doesn't sting too much and hasn't blistered. I got some Aquaphor and Lidocaine 2% 50/50 mix from the nurse and that helps the itching. Hope you are doing O.K. Candi.

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

Have you tried Biafine Charlie?  It is especially for burns.  It might help you even more.

Sue :)

TexasCharlie's picture
TexasCharlie
Posts: 74
Joined: Nov 2012

The RO added 3 more days and I am blistered on my side. I have a whole bunch of meds to use and it really isnt too bad. Next week he said he will concentrate on just the incision area, after that I'm done. Then I have to take estrogen blockers for 5 years and herceptin every 3 weeks for a year. The Onc told me what the reactions and side effects from the E-block might be but, it is mostly related to menopause so we really don't know what will happen with me. I'm hoping nothing but, we'll see.

June Bugs
Posts: 169
Joined: May 2013

The finish line is so close Charlie!  It sounds like you have the boosters this week.  Good luck!

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

You are almost at the finish line!  I hope your skin doesn't get any worse.

Hugs, Debby

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

How are you Charlie?

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

I've always tanned really well and not burnt, so, I am hoping I won't with rads. 

andi44's picture
andi44
Posts: 154
Joined: Jun 2013

I was fortunate that I was already tan prior to starting the radiation treatment.  I was going tanning prior to my diagnosis...So, I'm just getting darker...I have been putting aloe vera cream and vitamin E oil on afterwards...I don't know if this is helping or not...I'm half way thru my treatments...and not having side effects...Good luck to you...

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

Vitamin E oil?  I hadn't heard of that one.  What's it suppose to do andi?

 

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Texas Charlie, are you done with rads or close now?

Jan

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

Charlie is done so congrats to him!  We need to have a party for him!

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5385
Joined: Oct 2010

I think it is normal-I only got slight tan (square)-no burning to speak of and I am very pale. I am guessing depends on the dosage of radiation perhaps.

 

Denise

 

Carlee
Posts: 100
Joined: Jul 2013

I wish I would have had all of this information when I had rads.  This is amazing, all of the tips and advice.  I wish everyone an easy time with rads, if that is possible.

Carlee

Rague
Posts: 3310
Joined: Aug 2009

I burned VERY bad AFTER rads.  I did 25 rads and with the 24th I got a slight pink, after 25th a bit pinker but the next morning I woke up the entire radiated area open and running.  Radiation does not quite doing it's thing when it is not being used any more - it keeps 'cooking'  for quite a while.  Some seem to think that those who burn, didn't do due diligence with skin care - not true  - I did everything I was told to do.  I am very VERY 'white' so Dr was really keeping an eye on my skin but as 'white' as I am, I have always tanned great and never have had a really bad sunburn.

I ended rads in early March '09 and the last scabs came off late June '09.  Still have some 'great' scars up the side of neck and under arm and arouind to back.  Thankfully, I never developed any infections  as I could not have used Sulfadene/Silvadene because I'm allergic to sulfa.  I had a huge tub of aloe and I almost totally annihalated it but what finally got healing going was Domobro soaks.

Not trying to scare you - VERY FEW burn as bad as I did.  BUT I will always believe that rads are a part of why I am 3 yrs, 10 mths from my IBC DX and still NED.  If I had to/needed to go through it again - I would in a heartbeat - 'discomfort' for a while beats not being here at all to me.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan 

LindaJD
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2013

I had my 9th rads treatment today.. So far, my skin is ok.  They told me to use a hypo allergenic cream on my skin; but not to put it on the markings.  They didn't give me anything to use.  Linda

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

I had tatoos Linda, not the markings, so, I was able to use the creams everywhere.  May I ask why you have the markings and not tatoos?  Good luck to you!

Lex

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