Archive for the ‘Radiation Side Effects’ Category

Friday, January 8, 2016

Chemotherapy and Radiation Side Effects at the Same Time?

You might be wondering whether it is worth going through chemotherapy and radiation side effects at the same time. Here is a great infographic by CURE Media Group that explains a bit about why the combination of these two treatments is particularly powerful.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stanford Cancer Institute Helps Relieve Radiation Side Effects

inst_stanford1The Stanford Cancer Institute in Stanford, California, is working hard to help cancer patients navigate their treatment with ease and comfort, so they can focus on healing and returning to their families and active lives. That’s why they have Jeans Cream available for purchase in their gift store. Visitors can buy it for in-patients, and out-patients can go there to stock up on a cream that will help soothe radiation side effects and make their journey that much easier.

The Stanford Cancer Center calls upon the world-class expertise of over 300 researchers and clinicians to provide outstanding, comprehensive cancer care, focus on research and medical innovation, advance professional training in the field, keeping its facilities on the cutting edge, and providing leadership and community outreach.

Patients receiving care in the Stanford Cancer Center have access to the full complement of their specialists, many of whom are nationally recognized experts in their field. At their weekly Multidisciplinary Patient Review Boards, physicians from many different specialties collaborate with nurses, psychosocial services and other experts to develop the best treatment options possible for each patient. Genetic testing and counseling are also an integral part of their treatment approach.

Stanford is a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center, which means that they are “characterized by scientific excellence and the capability to integrate a diversity of research approaches to focus on the problem of cancer. They play a vital role in advancing towards the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality from cancer.”

Stanford is also one of the founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 23 of the world’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer.

US News andamp; World Report consistently recognizes Stanford as one of the top hospitals in America for cancer care. Their Magnet® designation acknowledges the hospital for quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practices. Stanford is also certified by ASCO as a Quality Oncology Practice Initiative(QOPI®) program, which means they have a commitment to quality patient care and safety.

Behind many of today’s most successful cancer treatments is research that originated at Stanford. They are pioneers in new diagnostic imaging techniques used to target, treat, and, whenever possible, eliminate cancer. From the discovery of antibody and biologic therapies that harness the patient’s immune system to successfully combat cancer, to the development of the new radiation therapy technology they continue to transform cutting-edge research into world-class patient care.

They also take great care to support patients in easing their chemotherapy and radiation side effects, and also whatever emotional challenges arise as a result of their diagnosis and treatment.

Translational medicine is the cornerstone of Stanford’s cancer treatment programs, with more than 300 clinical trials underway at Stanford. They actively leverage the expertise of hundreds of physicians and researchers who work together to unravel cancer’s secrets. Their physician scientists are actively investigating revolutionary therapies that are on their way to becoming tomorrow’s standard of cancer care.

Jeans Cream is proud to be offered to Stanford’s patients and visitors as an option for relieving radiation side effects, and for nourishing and caring for the skin.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Radiation Side Effects from Oral Radiation Therapy

file3691233875457Patients undergoing radiation treatment orally can face unique challenges from patients being treated in other areas of the body. Here are some of the radiation side effects that may occur for people being treated for mouth or throat cancer.

Dry mouth: During the weeks of oral radiation treatment, one’s mouth may become very dry which can lead to difficulty eating, talking, and swallowing. It can also hasten tooth decay, so it’s important to restore moisture. Patients may find it helpful to drink lots of water, suck or chew ice chips or sugar-free hard candy, chew sugar free gum, and use a saliva substitute.

Throat and mouth pain: Another radiation side effect in the mouth can be painful ulcers, redness and inflammation. In this circumstance, doctors will often recommend medicines or special numbing oral rinses to help control the pain in the throat and mouth.

Painful or bleeding gums: The tissue in the mouth can become so sensitive that regular activities like brushing and using a toothpick can cause a great deal of pain and trauma to inflamed gums. SO it’s best to go extra gentle with the area. This can also lead to infection if lesions are left unchecked, so patients will want to stay aware of what’s happening in their mouths and let their health care practitioner know immediately if anything looks out of the ordinary.

Tooth decay: Radiation treatment can cause tooth decay in a big way, so it’s extra important to care for the teeth and gums meticulously while undergoing treatment. The recommendation from dentists for those who are in this scenario is to brush teeth, tongue and gums with an extra-soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste after every meal and before bed. Some dentists also recommend fluoride trays, and regular rinsing with a salt/baking soda/water mixture.

Infection: Dry mouth and damage to the lining of the mouth from radiation therapy can cause infection to develop. It helps to check your mouth every day for sores or other changes and to tell your doctor or nurse about any mouth problems.

Stiffness in jaw: Radiation side effects from oral treatment can include jaw problems because the radiation affects the muscles used for chewing. This can make it difficult to open one’s mouth. Sometimes the condition can be eased greatly by simply exercising those muscles by opening and closing the mouth as much as possible and holding each position for a while.

Denture problems: Treatment may create enough of a change inside one’s mouth that their dentures don’t fit right anymore. Also, it can be difficult to even wear them because of how dry and inflamed the mouth tissues can become.

Taste and smell differences: Food and odors may be perceived differently after treatment. Some of the changes may even be permanent for some people.

Vocal changes: If the radiation is directed towards the neck, the larynx may swell, resulting in changes to one’s voice as well as fatigue talking. Sometimes medicine is given for this to bring swelling down.

Thyroid changes: If a patient’s thyroid is affected, he or she may begin to feel tired, lethargic, cold, gain weight and have dry skin and hair. A doctor can prescribe thyroid hormone to help support the thyroid and reduce those symptoms.

Skin changes: Skin on the patient’s face and neck may be affected in a similar way to getting a sunburn. Skin may become red, dry and fragile. Patients may want to be careful about shaving or applying skin care products, as they may be irritating.

Fatigue: Fatigue is a common radiation side effect that affects most patients being treated with radiation therapy. It is the same with people undergoing oral treatment.

These are most of the side effects that people undergoing oral radiation therapy experience. It’s always important to have a detailed discussion with a healthcare practitioner before beginning any kind of treatment though, so that expectations, protocol and symptoms can be managed.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Nalie Agustin Dealing with Radiation Side Effects

NalieNalie Agustin has been chronicling her experiences going through treatment for breast cancer, ed and coping with radiation side effects.

Here is her story: It all started back in 2012 when I felt lumps in my left breast while showering. I mentioned it to my family doctor who examined me and said, vialis 40mg “At your age, look 85% of the time, it’s just a cyst!” but she gave me a referral paper to book an ultra-sound just in case.

Months passed, seasons changed, relationships ended and I only decided to get that ultra-sound in July 2013. One test led to another and on July 17, 2013 I heard the scariest 3 words of my life: “You have cancer”.

I was diagnosed with stage 2B invasive breast cancer with 2 tumors in the left breast and 1 in the lymph node. The biggest one being 4x4cm. My cancer is Estrogen and Progesterone positive. HER2 and BRCA1 negative, and has thankfully not metastasized.

Treatments began immediately starting with 4 rounds of A/C chemotherapy once every 3 weeks followed by 12 weekly rounds of Taxol.

A month later, I was scheduled for a full mastectomy: the removal of my entire left breast with immediate reconstruction.

Once healed, 5 weeks of Radiation was scheduled for extra cancer cell destruction. Treatments then end with a daily intake of hormone pills for 5 years of prevention.

From the very first day I was told I had cancer; I decided to record and write about my journey through the world of oncology. At first, it was for myself, as my form of therapy. But now, it’s become clear that my blog is for far more than just that…

You can see more of Nalie at her blog and in this video as she copes with radiation side effects:

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

How To Cope with Fatigue from Radiation Side Effects

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 9.34.36 PMFatigue is a common side effect of radiation treatment, and also of other treatments and even just coping with cancer in general. Fatigue can result from different causes such as medical interventions, sleeplessness and emotional distress.

 Coping with Fatigue as a Radiation Side Effect

So how do you cope with fatigue, whether mild or severe? Here are some strategies that may help:

1. Self-care: Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. If you need some help to design a healthy meal plan, consult a nutritionist.

Get more sleep! Set a bedtime and try to stick as closely with it as possible. If you are able, try to fit in one or two short nap times during the day. Even if you don’t fall asleep, the rest and quiet will be helpful for your nervous system.

2. Ask your doctor to check you for anemia. Iron-poor blood can contribute to fatigue.

3. Speak with your doctor about the medications you are taking to see if any of them are making you tired. He or she may be able to adjust dosages and combinations so that you start feeling better quickly.

4. Get some support. Talk to a friend, a therapist, or a support group, and work through any anxiety, anger or grief that may be emerging because of your cancer. Talking and releasing your feelings will help free you from thoughts that would weigh you down and make you tired.

5. Choose to move. Sometimes just getting up and moving will kickstart an energy burst and push you out of a funk. It will also help your body stay healthy and metabolize any physical burden from medications you may be taking.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Relief from Radiation Side Effects at Spencer Hospital

img_1319Patients at Spencer Hospital’s Abben Cancer Center in Spencer, Iowa are able to get Jeans Cream to help them with radiation side effects which may result from treatment.

The Abben Cancer Center offers a number of therapies to their patients, including the following:

Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy is designed to destroy cancerous cells or prevent them from dividing. Since cancer cells grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells, they are more sensitive to the effects of radiation. Radiation therapy usually is given five days a week for six to eight weeks. Small amounts of radiation are given daily to protect normal tissues in the treatment area and weekend breaks allow the normal cells time to recover. Each treatment visit takes approximately 15 minutes. The radiation therapy program at the Abben Cancer Center uses state-of-the-art equipment identical to that found in the top centers across the country. This includes Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). Click here for more information on this progressive technology.

Medical Oncology (Chemotherapy) – Medical Oncology relies on drug therapy, usually administered through an IV, to destroy cancerous cells. The course of chemotherapy is individualized to best treat each patient’s condition and special needs. Our medical oncologists are associated with Avera Cancer Institute of Sioux Falls. Click here to learn more about the medical professionals who serve Abben Cancer Center of Spencer Hospital.

Brachytherapy (Seed Implants) – Working with Northwest Iowa Urologists, radiation oncologist Dr. Donald Nordstrom and the Abben staff, offer brachytherapy as a treatment option. Brachytherapy involves implanting tiny radioactive seeds directly into the cancerous site. Brachytherapy is used most often to treat prostate cancer, but may be used on other forms of cancer as well.

Nutrition Counseling – Our registered dietitian provides individualized nutrition counseling and diet planning.

Social Services – Social workers meet with patients and family members to provide confidential counseling and assistance in securing any services the patient may need such as home health care, Meals on Wheels, etc.

American Cancer Society – The ACS provides a multitude of support services to cancer patients and their families. These services include Road to Recovery (volunteer transportation), Reach for Recovery (counseling by people who can share their experiences and triumphs), Look Good, Feel Better (special cosmetic care), and much more.

Education – To learn more about cancer treatment, research, and prevention, we’ve created an education center for the community with brochures, videos, books and more. We’re also happy to speak to area organizations and provide tours.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Patients at Beth Israel Deaconess Are Getting Help with Radiation Side Effects

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 3.15.27 PMThe patients at Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center are able to get Jeans Cream for help with radiation side effects by visiting Windows of Hope. Windows of Hope is a specialty shop featuring products and resources for men and women being treated for cancer.

Founded by a cancer survivor and her husband, Windows of Hope makes it easy for patients with cancer to find the products and services they need in one location. Their staff offers supportive and sensitive advice, in a warm environment where patients can meet and share.

They have a comprehensive list of products for people going through cancer treatment and radiation side effects, such as wigs and partial hairpieces, breast prostheses, hats and scarves, jewelry, journals, books, CDs and specialty creams and lotions.

Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 3.23.38 PM

The Cancer Center at BIDMC is integral to one of Harvard Medical School’s major teaching and research institutions. At BIDMC, scientists and doctors have made many discoveries that have led to greater understanding of cancer mechanisms resulting in improved and innovative cancer care. As a Harvard teaching hospital, they are renowned for leading-edge cancer care and for pioneering discoveries that have led to unique cancer treatment strategies.

They provide their patients with a team of specialists who as experts in treating specific kinds of cancer (surgeons, radiation therapists and medical oncologists), develop care plans that fit a patient’s individual medical situation.

BIDMC’s cancer program is the only program in Massachusetts, and one of only 34 in the country, to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The commission is a consortium of professional organizations that includes the American Cancer Society, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American College of Radiology, the Oncology Nursing Society the American College of Surgeons.

Additional Achievements
Still other distinguishing strengths of BIDMC and their Cancer Center include:
– Becker’s Hospital Review has named BIDMC for 2012 as one of 70 Hospitals with Great Oncology Programs recognizing the hospital for providing cutting edge cancer treatment, prevention and research and demonstrated continual innovation in treatments and services, patient-centered care, and the achievement of clinical milestones and groundbreaking discoveries.
– BIDMC was recognized again in 2012 by US News and World Report as one of the nation’s top hospitals in cancer care.
– A large number of cancer specialists are once again recognized as Best in Boston for 2011.
– The first center in New England — and one of only a select number of hospitals in the country — to offer CyberKnife, a dynamic new radiation therapy system that is a noninvasive, radio-surgical alternative to open surgery for cancerous and other tumors. BIDMC’s Keith C. Field CyberKnife Center uses precise image-guidance and a multi-jointed robotic arm to deliver concentrated beams of radiation from multiple directions.
– Advanced imaging systems — including Boston’s first PET/CT scanner — for early cancer detection, less invasive breast imaging, advanced gastrointestinal diagnostic techniques, virtual colonoscopy and more.
– Novel breast reconstruction techniques that spare muscle, and research into personalized vaccines that harness the patient’s own immune system to target and destroy tumor cells.
– Genetic counseling and testing of high-risk patients, primarily for breast, ovarian and colon cancers, in order to help care for those who have cancer and advise unaffected family members on how best to stay well.
– Leadership in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, which enhances the many strengths of their cancer programs.
– Two of their clinician scholars/researchers each received a $1,000,000 from the Prostate Cancer Foundation to continue their cutting edge treatment research.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Radiation Side Effects: How To Cope with Fatigue

Radiation Side Effects: FatigueFatigue is a common side effect of radiation therapy. While undergoing treatment, you may find that you are far more tired than usual and that you simply don’t have the energy to attend to the tasks of your day as you used to. This does not mean that the cancer is getting worse or that the treatments are not working. It could just be the fatigue that is a common side effect of getting radiation therapy.

Here are some tips to help you cope with fatigue if you’re experiencing it:

1. Let’s face it. You’re going to need more rest as your body undergoes treatment and tries to heal. So make it a priority to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Whatever you usually do in those late hours before bed may not be as vital as your rest, so consider letting them go. Reading a book before bed can help tire your mind out so that you fall asleep more soundly. And if you are able, take short naps (about a half hour is generally good) during the day.

2. Believe it or not, most people coping with fatigue as a radiation therapy side effect find it helpful to exercise each day. A simple 15-30 minute walk or bike ride can make a big difference.

3. Ask for help when you need it. See if you can lessen your work schedule and go into the office part-time for a few weeks. Ask your loved ones for assistance.

4. Slow down, rather than give up. You might simply allow tasks to take you longer to complete, or you might find this approach works the best: Do a task, take a break, do another task, take a break.

5. Make yourself a priority. Honor your limits and do the things that are most important to you first so that you’re sure you have enough energy for them.

Fatigue caused by radiation therapy often clears up after treatment ends but some people find that it lingers for quite a while. So be gentle with yourself. If your fatigue isn’t helped by these tips, or if it is strong enough to cause you concern, talk to your nurse or doctor about it.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Indiana University Health Proton Therapy Center

iuhealthJeans Cream is proud to be offered to patients at Indiana University Health in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University Health’s Proton Therapy Center is one of just 13 proton therapy centers in the US that offers highly precise radiation therapy treatment.

Proton therapy is highly effective in its delivery and method; it delivers a dose to the target while sparing healthy surrounding tissue and avoiding critical structures. Proton therapy is a unique treatment that has proved to be as effective as, and in some cases more effective than, other forms of cancer treatments. It is a highly precise, noninvasive, nonsurgical procedure. It targets the tumor and causes minimal damage to surrounding tissues, as compared to conventional therapy. The results are highly effective and the radiation side effects are generally nonexistent or minimal. This combination of effectiveness and reduced side effects has led thousands of people worldwide to choose proton therapy instead of surgery or other forms of radiation therapy.

A few interesting notes about proton therapy:
– Pediatric radiation oncologists prefer to treat children with protons to avoid damage to growing bones and to minimize radiation side effects.

– The proton beam is actually shaped to match the tumor so healthy tissue can be avoided. This allows delivery of maximal dose to the tumor.

– The proton beam can be modified to treat regions smaller than a ping-pong ball or larger than a basketball.

– Proton therapy is often used for inoperable brain tumors to avoid damage to memory, language and thinking centers, the eyes, and spinal cord.

– Protons damage the DNA of cancerous cells to prevent reproduction.

With proton therapy, custom treatment plans are developed for specifically each patient. It does require daily treatments, so patients come in Monday through Friday for an average of 6-9 weeks. The size and shape of the tumor determines the treatment duration.

Once the patient is positioned and set up to receive therapy, the proton beam itself only lasts 30 to 60 seconds. Patients cannot see or feel the proton beam during treatments.

There are some potential radiation side effects that patients of this therapy experience. These include:

– Rapidly growing tissues, like the skin and hair, are more susceptible to radiation damage. Minor skin reddening and hair loss are common side effects at the treatment site.

– It is not uncommon for the patient to experience minor fatigue during treatment.

– Prostate cancer patients may also experience mild diarrhea.

Proton radiotherapy is used as a treatment by itself or in conjunction with other treatments.

Radiologists are limited as to how deep the proton beam can penetrate into the body. At the IU Health Proton Therapy Center, they can deliver beam up to a distance of 27 cm.

To determine if you are a candidate for treatment at Indiana University Health Proton Therapy Center, you can have your physician call with a referral, or you can call directly. They may ask you to visit Indiana University Health Proton Therapy Center for a physician consultation.

This information was taken from the Indiana University Health Proton Therapy Center information page. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Roper St. Francis Helps Patients with Radiation Side Effects

We’re honored to have our cream available to help patients manage radiation side effects at Roper St. Francis Cancer Care in Charleston, South Carolina.

This is a hospital that really cares about their patients! Along with a patient’s doctor, an entire team of experts work tirelessly to support each patient towards recovery. And they engage many resources along the way, including groundbreaking clinical trials, fellowship-trained board certified cancer specialists, Commission on Cancer Accredited treatment plans, new technologies, and a robust patient support program.

Also, cutting-edge technology to treat brain cancer is now being used at Roper St. Francis. It’s a new mobile electronic device called NovoTTF that’s being used to treat brain tumors. We really appreciate having Jeans Cream represented where such advanced technologies are being implemented to save and improve lives. The following video follows the story of one woman’s journey through brain cancer and this treatment.

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