Archive for August, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Help Your Child Manage and Minimize Radiation Side Effects

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 11.02.25 AMSince skin reactions are a common part of radiation side effects, if your child is going through treatment, you’ll need to pay special attention to where his or her skin is being irradiated. Here are a few recommendations:

1. Select a good healing cream and use it consistently. Today, you can find many options, as there are a number of creams and lotions made specifically to help soothe and heal skin from radiation side effects. Your child’s doctor or nurse may advise a specific cream or leave the decision up to your family. With Jeans Cream, we have found that adults and children alike have the most success and undergo the fewest skin-related problems when they begin early and use our one product exclusively and consistently throughout treatment.

Applying a radiation cream regularly is very helpful. And so, you may want to buy two or three smaller size tubes so you can keep one on your child’s bedside table and put the other one in her backpack or in your purse or car. Having the radiation cream nearby at all times can make it easier for you or your child to apply the cream throughout the day.

How to Use Healing Cream for Radiation Side Effects

We recommend parents begin applying radiation cream one or two times daily several days before their child begins radiation. As soon as therapy starts, you can put on the cream immediately following treatment and most importantly, again at bedtime. In the event your child’s skin begins to react to the radiation, apply the cream more often. In some cases, it may be necessary to apply a radiation cream up to 5-6 times per day, each and every time the skin feels sensitive. Note that the skin area to be irradiated should be bare and dry for the treatment itself!

Once the course of therapy has ended, continue applying the cream to help ease radiation side effects for at least two weeks because the radiation keeps working and skin still needs to be cared for.

Depending on where your child is having treatment, the area may get a lot of moisture or friction, like in the underarms, and some parents have found it helpful to apply their child’s radiation cream first, then to follow up with a light dusting of corn starch, which can help prevent or minimize chafing.

2. Avoid sun exposure to area being treated. Cover your child’s skin up and protect them from further burning or sun damage to their skin while going through treatment.

3. Dress your child in soft, loose, lightweight fabrics over the treatment area. It will help to minimize friction and discomfort.

4. Avoid artificial hot or cold packs. These can do further damage to delicate irradiated skin.

5. Check your child’s skin at the treatment site every day and alert his or her nurse or doctor to any changes. 

If your daughter or son’s skin is showing signs of radiation side effects during treatment, the symptoms will usually go away within a few weeks. Be sure to consult with your care team if any condition lingers. You’ll also want to get their approval before  using any specific cream or lotions.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lahey Clinic Helps Patients Soothe Radiation Side Effects

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 11.06.34 AMPatients being treated at Lahey Clinics in Massachusetts are able to purchase Jeans Cream to help them cope with radiation side effects from their treatment. We are proud to be represented there and to have our cream featured as one of the main products they offer to their patients.

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Lahey Hospital andamp; Medical Center is a physician-led, nonprofit group practice providing quality health care in virtually every specialty and subspecialty, from primary care to cancer diagnosis and treatment to kidney and liver transplantation. The Lahey Hospital andamp; Medical Center health care system is comprised of medical centers in Burlington, Lexington, and Peabody, Mass., as well as more than a dozen community primary care and satellite specialty care locations throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

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Lahey Clinic has the Sophia Gordon Cancer Center, where they have a full range of comprehensive medical and surgical specialists are available. Board-certified physicians in medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgical oncology all collaborate to best serve patients.

Lahey uses a team approach as its foundation for delivering cancer services. Clinicians treating the same patient readily consult one another, review test results and work in partnership on treatment plans. Regular tumor conferences are held to exchange information on complex and common diagnoses, and then, together, doctors plan the best therapies for patients. Cancer therapies are designed using the most advanced treatments, research, clinical trials and support resources.

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In addition, to support the all-inclusive needs of their cancer patients, Lahey offers alternative therapy services, which include acupuncture, art therapy, massage therapy, Reiki and the YMCA Pink Program, a special exercise program for breast cancer patients based on their activity levels.

What is interesting and unique is that Lahey applies a site-specific focus for treating cancer. They have cancer teams that are each headed by a director-leader and comprised of at least one hematologist, oncologist, radiation oncologist, and surgeon, as well as various allied health care providers. Each team focuses on one of the following illness sites: breast, lung, hepatobiliary, colon, rectal, bladder, kidney, prostate, gynecology, head and neck, hematologic, and skin and brain. This approach ensures efficiency and greater accuracy in treatment protocols.

In 2008, the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons awarded the Sophia Gordon Cancer Center its Outstanding Achievement Award for excellence in providing cancer patient care. This distinction is recognized by only 19 percent of cancer programs surveyed by the group.

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Lahey’s Department of Radiation Oncology provides a wide range of specialized therapy. They have an extensive brachytherapy program for the treatment of prostate cancer, stereotactic radiosurgery for intercranial (brain) and extracranial (body) treatment of tumors, and three-dimensional treatment simulation using CT imaging or CT imaging enhanced fusion technology with clinical input from PET or MRI imaging to precisely map the tumor location so that radiation beams can be “shaped” to provide highly targeted, optimal treatment to the tumor site.

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Overall, Lahey Clinic’s Sophia Gordon Cancer Center does everything it can to provide outstanding service, and minimize the impact of treatment protocols, including radiation side effects, so we are proud to be working together with them.