• Starting Radiation

    Asked by cris on Sunday, April 28, 2013

    Starting Radiation

    I know this question has been asked but I am starting radiation this week & was wondering is there any advice from you all I should know? Going to have it everyday for 6 weeks... Thanks

    21 Answers from the Community

    21 answers
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I was told not to use deod, so I used corn starch (recommended by rad onc)...the type you find in the baking aisle.....at first you won't notice anything different, but as times goes on, you will be fatigued and it lasts about 2 weeks post rads....this fatigue isn't horrid, but give yourself time to rest each day....I worked during rads, so it is doable.....your skin may get red and itchy....ask the rad onc or nurse for what cremes you can use.....wear 2 piece outfits (top and bottom rather than dress) as you will then only have to take top off and put on their "gown"....if you have hair (I was bald post chemo) wear tops that open (vs pull over hair) so don't have to "muss" up your hair!!! and if you did chemo, rads is much easier.....where I went to rads, I was there maybe 1/2 hour from time I signed in till the time I left.....wishing you an easy time...

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      https://www.whatnext.com/cc/what_to_expect_from_radiation_treatment This link is for our series " A Beginner's Guide To Cancer" this guide is "What to Expect From Radiation Treatment" , maybe it will give you some information.

      over 3 years ago
    • ValerieR's Avatar

      Hi Chris,
      I used Aquaphor on my skin, and it really helped alot. Hope everything goes well. I was not really tired until about 3 weeks into it, and about a month afterwards. I worked the entire time, and it was ok.

      over 3 years ago
    • Giraffe's Avatar

      I am one into radiation. Things seem ok. I use leMer and Aquafor. No trouble at all 28 more days to go.

      over 3 years ago
    • Honeypot's Avatar

      My consultant said that there was no sign whatsoever of radiation burn after I finished my
      treatment. I told her about Dr Organic Manuka honey rescue cream that you can get in
      Holland and Barret stores and I only found it by chance. It is entirely natural and no nasties
      in it. I slathered it on at least 3 times a day and especially immediately after the radiation. My Consultant said 'We can always learn' and wrote down the details of the cream. Honeypot

      over 3 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      Start using the aquaphor cream as soon as possible after your treatments. Just make sure it is wiped off before each treatment, but then put it on again after. This will help the skin tremendously. You may feel some fatique, but I will tell you I was able to exercise aboiut 3 days a week anyway. In fact, I was starting to lose that bloat feeling and feel better. Just make sure to get to bed early each night and get a good night sleep. Rest is important and pace yourself. But lots of sleep and exercise works great. Also, eat very healthy,your body needs the support to heal. I had no issues until about my 25th treatment out of 28 and then I had to treat my burns for about a week after. Some people just get a little redness and itchy.. The rad onc teams know how to treat you, just make sure you tell them what you're dealing with and they'll guide you. Don't listen to claims you'll see on line about other creams and miracle cures for radiation burns, I made mine worse by using calendula cream instead of the aquaphor. There is a time that that would be very safe and good, but I should have consulted my Dr first because I was getting a slight infection and self treating was not a good idea. So keep the Dr informed of all issues. You'll be in there every day so when you need them they are there!

      over 3 years ago
    • annogden's Avatar

      Like you, I underwent 6 weeks of radiation. I found the Aquafor too greasy, so was recommended to try pure Aloe Vera gel which I slathered on pure immediately after my treatment and at night. I am very fair skinned and did not get any burning at all. Pure Aloe Vera gel is the unrefined gel that comes from the aloe vera plant and is non greasy. It needs to be refrigerated, so I would take a small bottle of it with me in my purse to use after every session. You can buy it in a big bottle at the health food store. The other thing is that on my last 2-3 sessions they used tape to guide the machines instead of the tattoos. I was in too much of a hurry to get it off on my last day, understandably, but pulling at it was the only thing that damaged my skin, so if they do that to you, be patient! Wait a day and gently soak it off.

      over 3 years ago
    • dealite2007's Avatar

      Wear strechy camisoles every day. They are easy to stretch down to your waste without much struggle (and I wore a suit every day because I worked through it.) Also, I used pure aloe all over my chest and armpit and that helped me.

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      I used Aquaphor and Hydrolatum. Your doc may recommend something else. Really slathered it on. Pick a few items of clothing to live in because they will get greasy. I actually started the lotion a week before my first treatment so I went into it with moist healthy skin. You want to have clean dry skin before each treatment. Bring a small tub/tube of lotion with you so you can put it on again immediately after each treatment before you get dressed. If you do get burns make sure you ask the doc/nurses for the good stuff (silvadene - Rx ointment.) I hope you find the weeks go by quickly - they did for me.

      over 3 years ago
    • jojosmom's Avatar

      I did 6 weeks of radiation. I used Radiagel & then Aquafor. I continued to get sunburnt and repeatedly showed my dr, who said to use the above creams. I saw the rad dr on thurs and sun was in ER with fever. In ER they said I had a 6x6cm area inside my breast filled with infection. I could feel it and had also showed my 2 drs and they both said, its your body filling back in from the lumpectomy, but it wasn't. So I had surgery to drain the infection and was in hosp 4 days. Had 3 drain tubes and still have 1 left. Just watch your body, I did but no one listened til it was so late. Am still on antibiotics 3 weeks later for this, they said it was a staph infection.

      over 3 years ago
    • jad's Avatar

      *Clothing - easy off/easy on

      *Diet - healthy with good hydration

      *Fatigue- varies. Mine was negligible. I attribute exercise (not necessarily strenuous) to that

      *Skin/burning - aquaphor workded for me. getting toward the end I used a recommended
      OTC cortisone cream that also helped.Use heavy creams with older clothes you don't care a lot about.

      *Specific exercise. My rad nurse recommended shoulder stretches (walking fingers along the wall). I don't know why since I was a good 3 months post-lumpectomy. But I did them anyway.

      *Entertainment - if your rad practice has a CD player you may want to bring a disc that you like to keep you relaxed. My actual treatment was so short I didn't think it mattered. I listened to what
      the tech staff liked. My theory was that if it's a good staff (mine was) keep em happy.

      over 3 years ago
    • Risa's Avatar

      I used Miaderm (radiation relief cream) recommended by by rad onc. I used it three times a day. Two hours before radiation in the morning, after radiation during the day and at night before bed with a coat of Aguaphor on top. My rad onc was happy with the results as I had radiation twice a day for 6 1/2 weeks. It is expensive at $28.00 a tube but I only used one tube. I worked during radiation and felt fatigued at night and fell asleep too early so ended up with insomnia in the middle of the night. :( So my advice to you is to stay awake as long as possible in the evening to avoid the insomnia in the middle of the night !

      over 3 years ago
    • bella's Avatar

      Ialso had 6wks of treatment and was told to put cream on right after treatment if psssible and then again at night and I didnt end up with hardly any burns until the last week which was the boost. I was given a skin repair cream from the hosptial where I had my treatment. It worked for me and they watch you very closely for burns and are a great help.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAL's Avatar

      It does depend on how your radiation is delivered as well as the rads. Mine was in the prone position (on my stomach) so there was significantly less radiation to my internal organs until the last 5 treatments which were directed to the area where the tumor was removed so I had those while laying on my back. So, I honestly did not feel any of the fatigue side effects. My skin did get quite red, I used radiagel lotion 2x/day to help with that and then 10% hydrocortisone lotion 2x/day starting about week 3-4 to help with the itching (my rad oncologist approved both of these). I wore loose clothing including my bras on my days off work as it seemed to help to have "air flow" to the skin.
      Because I am large breasted, keeping the area under my breast dry and open to air was the hardest but I used my homemade cotton pads under the bra band to wick away the moisture (wash cloths rolled up work as well). At night I slept with as little on top as possible and positioned myself so that air could circulate around the breast as the skin became more red and irritated. I made it through with just one episode of blistering and the nurses gave me something called Mepilex to cover it as it sticks lightly to the skin to protect it but doesn't pull on the skin and rip it off. It has been 6 weeks since I finished radiation and I do still have more sensitivity under my arm area, but it isn't bad. I still try to do some of the same things to keep the skin from getting irritated by my bra rubbing and/or moisture now that it is getting warm. I was instructed to either wear clothing that has sunprotection built into it (sort of an expensive option) or wash all my tops in a Rit product called Sun Guard which provides sunscreen type protection to the clothing which covers the area of radiation. A box of it costs $6 and it says it will last on the clothing through 20 washings so seems like a reasonable option. My rad Oncologist says I'll need to do this for the entire Spring/summer/Fall season this year if I am going to be out in the sun--So no skimpy tops this year. :) Not my style anyway, but for some of you younger in better shape folks, that might make a difference. I forgot to ask about swimming outside but assume I'll need to lather up with sunscreen on the area of radiation as well as the usual spots.

      over 3 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      Hi, cris. I applied aloe vera three times a day. The purest stuff I could find was at the local Co-op. I applied it in the morning after my shower, again in the afternoon after my treatment, and once more at night before I went to bed. On the first or second day of treatment I asked the technician when she thought I should stop wearing a bra and she said "today". I wore my bra home that day and then didn't wear one again until a couple of weeks after radiation ended. Good luck to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • grammy's Avatar

      Walk every day. If you're too tired to walk, walk anyway, just maybe a shorter distance. Take yoga to help with keeping you limber and for relaxation during radiation. Eat an apple a day. This was recommended by my radiologist. Use the cream they give you and keep under your breast dry especially after showering. Dry well with towel, but don't rub hard and use hair dryer to make sure area is dry. I did all of this and only had what looked like a sun tan on my breast. You will get tired so rest when you need to but I worked every day and went to radiation after work so it is do able. Good luck. You will be fine.

      over 3 years ago
    • sueoop's Avatar

      By day 25 I was burnt pretty badly, no open weepy wounds but nearly blackened skin where the breast fold was supposed to be. I used aqauphor and the radiation gel given to me by the staff. I had what they called a severe reaction to the treatment and the developing fibrosis has been substantial. I am now taking vitamin E and pentoxoflin 3 times a day to try to reverse/repair some of the damage. Fatigue was not an issue, I was working full time as a teacher and part-time as a bookkeeper, radiation treatments in-between and hitting the gym at night. It is very doable.

      over 3 years ago
    • crudd123's Avatar

      I just finished 6 1/2 weeks of radiation Monday through Friday! No side effects at all! Only a severe burn under my arm the last 2 1/2 weeks. It's getting better. Buy some aloe vera without alcohol in it and use that the whole time. Or if your doctor recommends some other creams! Best of luck to you! It goes by fast!

      over 3 years ago
    • Beannie's Avatar

      I have fair skin also but clear Aloe Gel was what I used and no burn - skin did get red but did not burn or get irritated. Post radiation as of 3/25/13 - still some fatigue but I think more to do with Tamoxifen than radiation at this point. I did work every day - my advice, if you need to rest take the time to do so - I should have done this more. Hope it goes well for you.

      over 3 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar

      Just noticed your posting and hope all is going well with your rad sessions...you received excellent advice in all your answers here...I also worked every day as a pediatric nurse practitioner until the last week of treatment when the burns were severe and I could not wear a bra, I used a hand-held fan to soothe the area under the breast and also used the hair dryer on the cool setting which eased the pain...actually I had became so tired I could not walk upstairs to the bedroom after getting home from work so I would often just "crash" in the recliner downstairs...always use the lotions and creams your center provides or check with them before trying something else. A RX cream, Biafine, which I had used after a precancerous facial lesion had been treated with Carac which burns the skin, was OK'd by my team and was miraculous! The team was happy to let me try this again and they now use it for bad burns. I hope you are taking it one day at a time and doing OK...God bless!

      over 3 years ago
    • lroz57's Avatar

      I had it 2004 (28 treatments). The only thing you have to do is sleep. You will become very tired! Get as much rest as possible!

      over 3 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more breast cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Breast Cancer page.