The effects of radiation therapy
Many people are afraid of radiation. They believe that the therapeutic dose of radiation can be dangerous, such as the explosion of the atomic bomb or an accident at a nuclear power plant. Whatever the treatment is effective, it is almost always accompanied by side effects. This statement is true for radiation therapy. In this response to radiation therapy each person is different, therefore, to predict how a patient will suffer a particular exposure - is hard to say.
Often in patients with cancerdiseases are circulating all kinds of rumors, "true" stories and stories about radiation treachery. Therefore it is very important to understand that there is no relationship between treatment (so-called therapeutic) doses of radiation, and that radiation that happens at the atomic bombings. Radiation, which is designed to fight cancer controlled, purposeful and safe.
During radiation therapy, most patientsfind out that radiation exposure is not as scary as they seem. Although, it should be remembered that the radiation, killing the cancer cells may have a damaging effect on normal cells. And as the irradiation effect gradually appears, that, accordingly, develop gradually and side effects.
However, it should be noted that it is not necessary,that absolutely all patients suffer equally from these side effects. Knowing about them, and prepare for these side effects can be minimized discomfort during treatment. A few weeks after completion of radiation course all of these side effects gradually disappear.
The reaction of the skin
The most common radiation causes a reaction withskin side. This is evident discomfort in the irradiated area. In most cases, a skin reaction to radiation is shown as a sunburn, a reddening of the skin area, itching, burning sensation, pain and sometimes peeling. But in contrast to sunburn, to skin radiation reaction generally occurs slowly and in some areas. During the first radiation therapy that a patient might notice - a color change from pink to red. However, some areas of the skin may be more intense color. Skin reaction may be mild and limited exposure area. In some cases, skin reaction to irradiation may be more pronounced, and occupy a large area of the body irradiated. This mainly happens when the patient's fair skin, which is very susceptible to sunburn.
As with sunburn, the skin may be dry,painful and very sensitive to touch. At this time, it may be exacerbated irritation. The skin may peel off, like old sunburn or blisters forming. Such peeling is usually limited to a few areas of the skin. If the blister is opened, exposing the disease and weeping skin. If time does not begin to care for such a skin area, can join the infection and worsen the situation.
The way to reduce the appearance of skin reactions to radiation is to wear loose, not tight-fitting clothes, preferably of cotton material.
Gradually appear on the exposed areathe field of new pink skin. The new skin is usually very gentle. This skin can grow under either blister or under the old, dry, flaky skin. Do not cut or scrape these blisters old skin, because they protect the newly growing skin. If the problem is particularly severe, the doctor may take a small break in treatment to allow the skin to recover.
Typically, such changes in the skin occursprogressively and at the weekly inspection doctor can warn them. Fortunately, radiation skin irritation is temporary. In most cases, the doctor prescribes a certain ointments, medications to alleviate symptoms of skin reactions.
Once the radiation therapy is completed,negative effects of the skin may still be observed for one - two weeks, after which they began to take place gradually. The natural color of the skin will go back a little longer. Moreover, for six months or longer. The patient may note that the irradiated areas of the skin slightly darker or vice versa more pink than usual. Some patients exposed a darker shade of the skin may occur even years after treatment. In some cases, may thin the blood vials may occur on exposed areas of the skin. This so-called spider veins or telangiectasia. These flasks in any case are not signs of disease recurrence. Unfortunately, they do not pass on their own, and may need the help of a vascular surgeon.
Useful tips for radiotherapy
A few tips for those who are undergoing radiation therapy:
- during treatment is recommended to avoid direct sunlight to the irradiated region
- wear high-necked
- always wear
- we recommend wearing loose clothing can be even greater size that creates cool to the skin and does not irritate the irradiated portions
Once the radiation therapy is completed,we must remember that the irradiated areas of skin can now become more sensitive to sunlight, and therefore burns. So before you go out in the sun (eg, on the beach), take a bath, shower or swim in the pool it is recommended to use special creams that have the effect of sun and help avoid irritation of chlorinated water.