Archive for September, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nausea Is a Common Radiation Side Effect

depressed womanIt’s not uncommon to experience nausea during radiation therapy treatment. Even a few hours after your first exposure, your stomach might get upset and lead to vomiting. You don’t need to fear the worst if this happens. It doesn’t mean that the cancer is getting worse or that your treatments aren’t working. You could just be having one of the most common radiation side effects.

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If you are experiencing nausea as one of your radiation side effects, then here are some ideas that may help:

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1. Be gentle with your stomach. Eat smaller portions with greater frequency, and chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Try to stay away from foods that are very spicy or fatty, as it can be a lot for your system to digest.

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2. Try to eat when the nausea is least noticeable – maybe several hours before or after your radiation appointment. This will help your body manage the food and digestive process when it’s feeling strongest, rather than when it’s trying to respond to the treatment.

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3. Some people discover that salty foods and cold food and drinks can keep the stomach settled. Experiment with both and see if either of these work for you.

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4. When it’s time to rest, or if you need to lie down, try to at least keep your head propped up above your stomach. The moving around of stomach acid can sometimes cause an upset stomach.

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If you are so affected by your radiation treatments that you’re vomiting, be aware that you may become dehydrated. So, you’ll want to drink extra water and discuss what’s happening with your health care staff to make sure your body has a healthy level of fluids at all times.

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If your symptoms seem extreme at any point, or if they give you reason for alarm, contact your health care practitioner immediately.

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Most radiation side effects like nausea, will only happen for a short while until after you’ve stopped treatment and your body has had time to recover and regain balance. As long as you’re under the supervision of a healthcare professional, you should do fine. Just take it easy, take care of yourself and allow for more resting and slow moving days than you would if everything were normal.

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As always, whenever you’re in any kind of a healing process, it’s important to take good care of yourself and also to minimize your stress levels as much as you can. And last but not least, try to be kind to yourself during this difficult time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Indiana University Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care Helps Ease Radiation Side Effects

goshenJeans Cream is available for patients coping with radiation side effects at Indiana University Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care. We’re proud to be on board there because they have a uniquely integrated approach to cancer care that not only attacks the disease, but considers the whole person. Their support team includes fellowship trained physicians, registered dietitians, naturopathic oncologists and mind-body counselors who all work together to heal the person, eradicate the disease, and ease any radiation side effects that their patients may be experiencing.

Their specialists bring a number of disciplines – from leading-edge medical therapies and groundbreaking research to patient-specific clinical trials – to offer the most complete care possible. Plus, their patents have access to a host of supportive services, including counselors, support groups and chaplains. Every day, this multidisciplinary team of specialists works together to share ideas and contribute to individualized treatment plans. Once patients are in recovery, IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care teaches people to maintain a healthier lifestyle to help prevent cancer from returning.

Something exciting is that the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has granted Three-Year Accreditation to the cancer program at IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care.

The center offers the latest and most refined types of radiation available. They use internal and external techniques to deliver targeted doses to fight cancer, including TomoTherapy® – an advanced form of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – high- and low-dose rate brachytherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery, among others. They’ve also assembled a team of highly skilled and trained radiation specialists, including oncologists, therapists, physicists, dosimetrists and nurses, that allows them to treat even the most difficult and complex cancers.

In addition, they continually employ new delivery methods and technologies that reduce the negative effects of radiation treatment, while sparing nearby healthy tissue and improving treatment outcomes. In fact, they’ve found that some patients can potentially benefit from amifostine (Ethyol), if given during treatment. This medicine can be used in appropriate patients to reduce damage to the salivary glands that can cause permanent dry mouth and changes in taste.

The center’s patients further benefit from their unique integrated environment, where these radiation options are seamlessly blended with other advanced treatments, naturopathic and alternative medicines, and supportive services to offer them the most complete, healing care available.

Friday, September 12, 2014

End of Summer Sunburn Relief

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As summer comes to an end, you may want to spend as much time outside soaking up those last rays as possible. And, the Vitamin D can be good for you. But you also want to be careful not to overdo it and damage your skin.

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As you know, overexposure to UV rays can lead to various types of skin cancer, such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. So, why not avoid a sunburn altogether and circumvent the need for sunburn relief entirely? But are there any ways to avoid damaging your skin besides lathering on tons of sunscreen or by staying inside and missing out on the last warm days of 2014?

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We’ve searched online for people’s recommendations and have found that it’s possible to have some end of summer outside play time while still taking great care of your skin. Here are a few of the recommendations we came across:

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1. Plan outside activities for earlier or later in the day so the sun isn’t quite as strong. The sun is most intense between 10-2pm; and experts say that the chances of getting a sunburn dramatically decrease after 4pm. So, if you’re planning to go for a late summer beach day, tackle some end-of-season yard work, take a bike ride or head to the park with the kids, try scheduling these activities earlier or later than the hours of 10am-3pm.  Your skin will be much better off and you’ll completely avoid the need for sunburn relief after getting burned.

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2. Cover your body. Even a sheer fabric can add some light protection from the sun. Whenever possible, when you’re outside in the summer sun, wear a hat, put on a light cover up over your shoulders and thighs, or stay in the shade. The less skin exposed to the sun for a prolonged amount of time, the better.

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3. Use a mineral based sunblock like zinc oxide. You’ll have to really rub it in because it’s bright white. But don’t let that stop you. And remember those hard-to-reach places like the back of your neck, the back of your knees, your elbows, and the tops of your ears. If you’ll be wearing sandals or flip-flops, be sure to give your feet a good slathering of sunscreen also.

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4. Protect your eyes. While too much sun on your eyes wouldn’t require you to use any kind of cream or salve for sunburn relief, your eyes still can hurt a lot after being exposed to the bright rays for too long. Get yourself some good sunglasses and wear them while driving, playing and relaxing outside this summer.

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If you do these things, your body will thank you and you’ll have far less damage and risk of getting cancer. You’ll also maintain your look of youth for far longer. We’ve all seen that leathery appearance people get when they’ve spent year after year under the sun’s harsh glare. So do what you can to protect your body by limiting your time in the sun and caring well for your skin.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Choosing the Right Healing Cream for Your Child

Hand-careIf your child has ever had an itchy rash, a minor wound, a sunburn, or simple dry skin, then you’ve probably searched for a good healing cream that can actually soothe skin and ease your child’s suffering. But when there are so many different products, how do you know which one will be most helpful for your child’s situation? On the shelves and online, you’ll find simple moisturizers, anti-aging creams, and more advanced scar-removal and pain-relieving creams. Each therapeutic ointment has a particular purpose and the cost can vary a great deal from product to product.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re looking to select the right healing cream for your son or daughter:

1. What is the purpose and how long will they need it? If you want an ointment that specifically targets pain relief, that would be a very different product than one for overall soothing of the skin. A product for pain relief is something you’d select in more acute cases, and you’d probably use it less frequently after your child’s initial pain subsides, whereas a general skin salve could be used often on everything from dry, cracked feet and hands to skin recovery from a summer sunburn. So, your first step is to clearly determine what you need the product to do for your child.

Below are a few different kinds of very specific healing creams you might want to consider, depending on what your child has going on with his or her skin:

– Anti-fungal and rash control creams (kills microbes, reduces redness and itching)

– Burn cream (cooling, reduces redness and inhibits scarring)

– Bruise creams (generally include vitamins K or P to promote healing of blood vessels)

– Sunburn relief creams (cooling, lessens redness and inflammation)

– Wound healing creams (regenerate healthy skin rapidly, Neosporin is a great one!)

– Anti-aging creams (moisturizing, intended to reduce wrinkles and scars)

– Acne creams (intended to dry up the skin)

– Feet and hand creams (extra moisturizing for dried, cracked skin areas on the feet and hands)

– Anti-pain creams (for muscle and joint pain, include menthol to create a cooling effect)

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2. Do your research. Every kid’s skin is different so online reviews won’t be a foolproof way to ensure that a specific cream will work for your son or daughter, but it can provide some important insight about a products’ positive and negative qualities. You could do a basic web search for the keywords or product you’re looking at, or you could read customer reviews of creams on Amazon.

3. Take your child’s special needs into account. If he or she has allergies be sure to read the ingredient labels thoroughly to ensure the product won’t trigger any reactions that could have been prevented. If you would like to use a more natural product for your child, you should have no problem finding ones that include natural components such as Vitamin E and Aloe without all of the toxic fillers.

Our skin is one of the most used organs in our body, so when it comes to our children’s health and wellbeing, we can support this vital organ by helping them to drink plenty of water, avoid getting too much sun, and give their skin the right healing cream when they need it. Hopefully our recommendations above will help you find the best possible product for your chid’s situation!