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Let's Talk Radiation

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jan 21, 2019 11:56 am

Thinking of you Runner Girl‍ hang in there!

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Runner Girl on Jan 21, 2019 1:06 pm

ACH2015‍ , Kims1961‍ 

I've looked up Flamazine that you've recommended and the active ingredient is Silver Sulfadiazine.  In the past I have been given sulfa and was allergic to it, so I am remiss to try this.  I will go to the pharmacy I frequent and query them on the subject.

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by ACH2015 on Jan 21, 2019 3:51 pm

Runner Girl‍ 

Good call.

My radiation oncologist suggested the FLAMAZINE cream was the only thing that really helped if you needed to take this medication. There is no substitute he knew of for the active ingredient Silver Sulfadiazine.

Knowing your allergies and what not to take is just as important.

ACH2015 - Andy.


Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Rosie39 on Jan 22, 2019 8:05 am

I finished radiation in June. Went through it unscathed until about the last five treatments. Ended up with severe radiation burns. Used the recommended cream which eventually helped heal the burns. It was probably the worst part  of the chemo/ radiation experience. After the healing I was able to resume my daily routine.Time heals.

Runner Girl‍ 

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by jeniswee on Jan 23, 2019 11:28 am

I just started Radiation this week (on my right breast and lymph nodes) and have 26 more to go. My Radiation Oncologist told me that in her experience, people who are more prone to sunburns tend to be more prone to Radiation burns. Can anyone attest to this theory?

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Runner Girl on Jan 23, 2019 12:01 pm

I just started Radiation this week (on my right breast and lymph nodes) and have 26 more to go. My Radiation Oncologist told me that in her experience, people who are more prone to sunburns tend to be more prone to Radiation burns. Can anyone attest to this theory?

I am not prone to sunburn, in fact I've never been sunburnt.  I tend to get very dark instead.  Maybe its because I had chemo and my body has changed, but I have radiation burns, however I do not have any blisters or broken skin.  The burns did not show up until I was doing my boost radiation.

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Jan 23, 2019 1:08 pm

I am similar to Runner Girl‍ . I was always one to tan not burn. I had 28 rad treatments with about 3 boosters at the end. The breast itself looked like a light sunburn, which turned to a light tan and stayed like that for over a year. The area around the lymph nodes in and around the collar bone however were so bad I thought I would be scarred there for life. I was given a rx for steroid cream that definitely helped and I was surprised that it left no mark whatsoever. Having said all that - as is said many times on here - everyone is different and what causes one person grief, another could skate through it. I wish you well through radiation. It can be fatiguing and is accumulative so sometimes that means it continues past last treatment for a bit before it starts getting better. Telling you that not to scare you but to explain it if it happens. I had not heard that and found it quite scary when it did happen.

Keep us posted as you can


Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by jeniswee on Jan 23, 2019 3:08 pm

Thank you, Lianne_adminCCS and Runner Girl. It is good to know that the Sunburn theory isn’t necessarily sound. I usually have pretty resilient skin and was relying on that in hopes of not burning too much! I will take what comes and persevere! I’ve certainly come to understand that Cancer Treatments, Complimentary Drugs, and the side-effects that come along with it all are very individual and relative!

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Jamore on Jan 24, 2019 2:48 pm

I find it so comforting to read the posts by everyone here. It is great not to feel so alone. I do have great support at home, but there is, of course, a limit to another persons understanding unless they have been through the experience (my kids would say here "thanks captain obvious! lol)
Anyway, I have just completed rads treatment #17 (of 25 + 5 boost). I am not yet feeling fatigued, but I do go to bed at 8:30 and get up at 7:30, so I get a lot of rest at night. As with chemo, I have no appetite, but eat regularly each day, focusing on nutrients, and drink lots of water.
I am being treated right side (BC) chest wall, axillary nodes and subclavicular nodes...big area! Then boost to the tumour site. My skin is beginning to look a little pink, and there are lots of itchy bumps on an area of my upper back, and upper chest. I use Glaxol base three times each day, and cool the itchy areas, but I will be talking to my rads onco tomorrow about more support. I have stuff to make a saline soak, which I will try tonight. Sometimes I find myself feeling a little freaked out by the idea of peeling, blistering and black skin that I have read about here. Other times, I think it is great that I have access to a treatment for my early stage BC, and I will take one day at a time and  just do this! That is not the day I am having today, but I did have that day yesterday!! My rads treatment will be done (hopefully) on Feb 12.
There is so much rich advice and support here...cheers :)

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by ashcon on Jan 24, 2019 3:03 pm

JamorejenisweeRunner Girl‍ 

I feel your pain!  There is no predicting how you will respond to radiation, yes?  I was lucky enough to get to use the Mepitel film, and it worked quite well through treatment, but then things really flared up and I got 2 open sores about 10 days after last rad treatment.

Jamore:  glad you mentioned the saline soaks.  These were a lifesaver for me.  
Runner girl - these may be an option for you instead of the Flamazine. I've attached a document on how to prepare these.   I made up a small batch every 2 days and kept it in the fridge.  The cooling sensation of the cold compresses was marvellous!

Let me know if this works for you!
Attached files

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Jamore on Jan 25, 2019 11:18 am

Radiation...offered as a necessary part of many treatment plans, and apparently a valuable part! I am frustrated, however, with the lack of a concrete protocol to prevent/treat the side effects on the skin. During chemo, I was made aware of and given a set selection of medications to help alleviate/prevent some of the nasty side effects of these drugs. My hair fell out, my nails look weird...but I felt ok most of the time, and did not get seriously ill (thanks Nupogen!). Now, I know random blogs and personal accounts are available for everything, and take what I read there with a grain of salt, and cheer for the good results these folks experienced. But reading on this and other forums, and researching credible websites, for some definitive protocol to treat radiation side effects has me puzzled. With all the global experience and expertise of radiation oncologists, can there not be some discussion to establish a universal protocol that helps to prevent or at least minimize the "burns" during and after treatment? I feel like I am fumbling around in the dark here, with contradicting information at every turn. Ugh! 
Sorry for the rant...but I do feel safe here...

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Elsie13 on Jan 25, 2019 8:10 pm

Jamore‍ There are couple of articles on cancer.ca, but I've a feeling these will be things you already know. Maybe there is no 'universal protocol' as radiation is used for so many different cancers?   And different people will react differently to the treatment? 


Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Runner Girl on Jan 28, 2019 10:54 am

Last Friday my radiation burned skin started to itch, the going out of your mind kind of itch.  The Base Glaxal cream wasn't cutting it, neither was the 1% hydrocortisone cream that the radiation doctor prescribed.  Running out of options I tried what was at hand, Aveno skin relief moisturizing cream.  I keep it on hand for winter itchy skin.  It cut the itch and provides great moisturizing for my skin.  For the most part my skin now looks darkly tanned, except for the area that received the boost radiation, that is still angry red.  I noted a bit of skin has peeled in my armpit in the creases.  Hopefully this week brings more healing and no nasty surprises.

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Kims1961 on Jan 28, 2019 12:45 pm

Runner Girl‍ ....ahhhhh...the dreaded itch!  I was told it was a good sign that the skin is now trying to heal.    I had various areas of  skin irritation - under my arm also peeled which was a bit uncomfortable because of having my arm down.  I was tempted to walk around with my arm up wink Glad you found something to soothe the itch.

Just this weekend - 6 months after radiation - I realized my skin almost looks normal again where the radiation was.


Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jan 30, 2019 12:33 pm

Runner Girl‍ - Wishing you a healing week! Glad the itch has been relieved.

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Catherine52 on Feb 4, 2019 10:17 pm

Just wondering radiation for breast cancer - Is it as tiring as people say?

Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Kims1961 on Feb 4, 2019 11:05 pm

Catherine52‍ This is a very good question.  As with most treatment options - it can be different for each of us.  I didn't find the fatigue that bad - but I also wasn't working at the time and was living in a motel during the week ( my radiation centre is over 4 hours away).  So it could be not worrying about getting things done at home and just focusing on treatment made it less tiring.  I did find though that daily exercise also helpful.

I was able to walk from my motel to the radiation unit each day - so that was relaxing.  For some people - the driving to the hospital for radiation and home again or to work - can definitely add to the fatigue level.

When do you start?  Let us know how it goes for you.


Re: Let's Talk Radiation

Posted by Catherine52 on Feb 4, 2019 11:15 pm

Thank you Your response was so helpful.
I start in a week or 2. I find out later this week.

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