Friday, June 27, 2014

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 & 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, June 20, 2014

Sunburn Relief Stories

Star colorWe’ve all spent too long in the sun or forgotten to cover some area of our body with sunscreen and needed major sunburn relief. What are your most comical stories from when the sun got the better of you? Here are some fun ones some of our users have shared:

I got terrible burns when I was 9 in Jamaica. It was late afternoon and I was on the beach with my dad and we both dozed off. A few hours later, after being beat on by the sun and the UV rays reflecting off the water, I was bright red. By nighttime I was in agony. I had to spend the rest of the vacation in a cool bathtub and taking aspirin for sunburn relief. It hurt to touch anything and everything. After the pain began to fade, I started peeling off huge layers of skin. I know this sunburn is where I got many of my freckles.
~ Chris

A few years ago we visited the local water park during a heat wave. Great idea! I had forgotten to reapply sunscreen after we went swimming, so all my protection wore off and I wasn’t thinking about the water reflecting the sun. My nose and shoulders got burned so badly I couldn’t even wear a shirt for three days afterwards.
~ Emily

Last summer I was hanging out in my neighbor’s backyard on a lovely summer day and fell asleep with my iPod resting on my leg. You guessed it – that night, my legs were burned, except for a shocking little white patch where the iPod had been. My husband still teases me about it.
~ Laura

I spent too much time outside last week and wound up getting a burn on my shoulders and chest. My bra strap hurts, the seatbelt hurts, everything. Luckily I just found a good cream for sunburn relief and plan to use it tonight. Hopefully I can ease the pain and also help repair my skin!
~ Margaret

My WORST sunburn ever was the summer after my freshman year in college. I was mowing lawns to earn some extra income. This one day I had spent over three hours on the mower and hadn’t even thought to put sunscreen on my hands. I was holding the steering wheel all day so my hands were getting tons of sun. I think the pain lasted almost a week after that. And every time I tried to shower and wash my hair, the warm water would send my hands to agony.
~ Anthony

My first time in Mexico, I didn’t realize how much stronger the sun was than in New England. We didn’t take it seriously the first day and spent the rest of the vacation blistered and looking like lobsters.
~ Marie

These stories are great reminders about how easy it can be to forget to protect ourselves from overexposure to the sun. It’s always better to protect our skin than to need sunburn relief after the fact.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DIY Sunburn Relief

If you ever stay in the sun too long and aren’t able to get immediate sunburn relief, here are some common household items that might help. Thank you, WonderHowTo for the graphic.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sunburn Relief and Skin Cancer

Dr. Susan Jewell discusses the importance of skin protection from the sun and why to avoid needing sunburn relief in the first place.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Few Places You May Need Sunburn Relief

file0002054422162If we wear sunscreen, most of us know where to apply it: face, shoulders, back, arms and legs. But there are a few places that dermatologists and doctors see more sun damage than others – and this is because we have some places on our body that we don’t readily realize needs sunscreen (or sunburn relief) just as much as others.

Here are a few places you’ll want to be sure to apply sunscreen (or provide sunburn relief to) this summer:

The Scalp!
This is especially true for bald men, and for men and women with thinning or fine hair. Try a non-greasy sunscreen spray to make application easier. Then rub in.

Top of the Ears!
Don’t forget the top ridges of your ears. The skin is incredibly thin and can burn quite easily. If you’re going to pull your hair back or wear a baseball cap, your ears won’t be protected from the sun’s rays, so be sure to cover them with sunscreen.

Your Lips!
We often don’t think of our lips as needing sun care, but the definitely do and can become burned and chapped quite easily. Some chapsticks and lip balms have UV protection built in, so look for those then apply often because you’ll likely remove it every time you eat or swim.

The Edges of your Clothes!
Sometimes we wear plunging necklines, V-necks, or button downs that expose a large amount of our chest, but we forget that those areas need protection as well. So be sure to cover your throat and chest with a quality sunscreen to avoid odd-looking sunburns and the need for sunburn relief.

Back of Neck!
This is especially true for men and women with short hair because their is nothing to cover this area of skin. When you’re getting ready to head outside for a jog, beach day, boat ride, etc. remember to give some attention and protection to the back of your neck as well.

Back of the Knee!
Many of us apply sunscreen to our calves, knees and thighs, but completely forget about the back of our knees. This is really common if we apply sunscreen while sitting down since our legs are bent. If we do any sunbathing or just warming ourselves belly-down on the warm sand after a swim, the back of our knees are exposed to the sun. Getting a burn behind the knee can make walking quite uncomfortable so this isn’t an area we want to forget.

Back of Hands and Tops of Feet!
These two areas are often forgotten about, which is why we often see older people with age spots on the backs of their hands. This is an area wear sunscreen would easily be washed off quickly, and the same goes for the tops of the feet if someone spends time wading along the shore or in the shallow end of a pool. It’s easy to burn these two areas, so you may need to apply more sunscreen or cover these areas more than you may realize.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why You Need Sunburn Relief and How To Get It

SONY DSCWe’re gearing up for summer and both children and adults around the country will be unintentionally damaging their skin without meaning to. Hours spent outside without adequate protection will cause the skin to become red and painful to the touch. What is causing this reaction and what can you do for sunburn relief to help reverse both pain and the damage?

Let’s begin with the causes of sunburn: A sunburn is a form of radiation burn from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The UV rays affect the epidermis, or outer layer of skin by contacting the melanin, which can only absorb some of the damaging UV rays. At first, the UV light causes the melanin to react, which is why our skin becomes tan. But further exposure to the radiation affects deeper layers of cells in the epidermis and causes damage. This is what causes a burn.

Once this kind of a burn occurs, the burnt layer of skin cells becomes red, hot and may blister. These cells are dying off and our immune system reacts by sending more blood flow to the area. Additionally, the damaged cells also send out chemicals that cause our nerve endings to be more sensitive and to feel painful to the touch.

After layers of skin cells have died in this way, the skin will peel away with the loss of moisture. And the new skin cells that begin to grow underneath need extra protection because they are very sensitive and vulnerable to UV rays.

Did You Know?
• You can still get a sunburn even when it’s cloudy. Up to 90% of UV light rays pass through clouds.

• It can take than 15 minutes for sun damage to occur in the skin.

• Sunlight reflected onto you by snow, ice, sand and water still has the ability to cause as much damage as direct sunlight.

• The sun’s rays have a greater effect at higher altitudes because the earth’s UV filtering decreases the higher up you go.

Tips for Sunburn Relief
So, how do you care for your skin in the event that you do get caught out in the sun for to long?

1. Experts recommend taking aspirin or ibuprofen within the first 24 hours after a bad burn to decrease inflammation and get the red out. As we discussed above, the redness indicates damage to the skin cells and by addressing this immediately, you not only provide much needed sunburn relief, but you can help restore the skin’s health.

2. If the pain is extreme, try a spray like Solarcaine that has Lidocaine and will not only help your skin retain moisture, but will also have a pain killing, numbing effect for ailing skin cells. NOTE: If the burn is accompanied by nausea or fever, a doctor should be called immediately.

3. Lather yourself in a good healing cream that contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient like aloe Vera. This will not only ease pain, but will also lock in vital moisture and give you a jumpstart on reducing the chances that your skin will eventually peel, get itchy and flake off.

4. After the pain has subsided and the skin has healed a bit, exfoliate your once-burned skin with an alpha hydroxy acid face wash or with an over-the-counter Retinol cream. This will urge your skin to grow new, healthy cells and increase the production of collagen.

Your skin is precious, so be sure to limit sun exposure in the future and to wear a high SPF sunscreen.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Healing Cream for Hot Spots on Animals

DSC_0071Over the years we have had an increasing number of customers telling us that they purchase Jeans Cream as a healing cream to use on their animals’ hot spots and other skin problems. So, we thought we’d dedicate an article to this aggravating skin condition that often has our animal friends chewing, licking and scratching like mad.

A hotspot (also known as moist dermatitis) is when an animal’s fur falls out in a little patch and the skin becomes inflamed and infected. The skin tends to look moist, red and may be oozing. It is usually painful to the animal and can be very itchy, which encourages your dog or cat to lick and scratch at the area. If your animal has a hotspot and won’t stop fussing with it, you may need to get a cone of shame from your vet and have your pet wear it until the sore has healed a bit.

So, what causes hot spots in the first place? Hot spots are much more common in animals with thick coats, dirty skin, and/ or moist skin. Allergies including environmental or food allergies, fleas – even one bite can do it! – and other insect bites and skin wounds can all be triggers. Sometimes an odor can be present, which could indicate further cause for concern.

On occasion, a hot spot can be created by the pet if he or she is experiencing underlying pain. For example, if the dog has a sore hip or knee joint, he or she might begin gnawing at the skin over that area to try and create relief. If the dog’s vet doesn’t know about this underlying issue, they may label it a hot spot when the problem is deeper than that.

There are also some mental or emotional issues that can cause cats and dogs to begin chewing on their skin. If the animal has separation anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder, they might resort to aggravating their skin by chewing and the same thing could happen where he or she is diagnosed with a hot spot, but the real cause is the distress underneath.

When it comes time to treat the animal, vets often begin by shaving the area to help see what is happening on the skin and also to clean the affected area and enable it to dry out. Then topical ointments, healing cream or sprays are used to disinfect and prevent further infection. Anti-histamines may be recommended to relieve itching. Sometimes oral antibiotics can be prescribed. And if the pet seems to be in a lot of pain, the vet may administer a prednisone shot (corticosteroid).

Most of our customers who are using our product with their cats’ or dogs’ hot spots report applying it after the wound has dried out somewhat. Obviously, if the problem is too much moisture which is exacerbating the possibility of infection, you won’t want to add any kind of moisturizing element. When it’s just a matter of healing the skin more quickly, customers have reported our product as a wonderful healing cream.

We recommend applying the cream for animals the same way someone would for a human. Apply it to the area 3-5 times a day and especially at night.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Miami Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital Minimizes Radiation Side Effects

mercyPatients of Mercy Hospital in Miami, Florida can purchase Jeans Cream at Mercy Professional Pharmacy to use as a healing cream and alleviate radiation side effects.

According to their website, the Miami Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital provides advanced cancer treatments with state-of-the-art equipment and a compassionate touch. They offer extensive education, special programs, surgical services, and rehabilitative programs to meet patients’ needs before, during and after treatment.

The Miami Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital is provides a broad spectrum of Oncology services. Here is a little about each department:

Radiation Oncology Department

Mercy Hospital’s Radiation Oncology Department offers every modality of Radiation Therapy including Image Guided Radiation Therapy/Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IGRT/IMRT) and High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR). The Radiation Oncology Department continues its research efforts through its involvement with the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG).

Radiology Department

The Radiology Department is a comprehensive diagnostic and interventional radiology facility staffed by affiliated board certified radiologists providing a full range of imaging services. The mammography center is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Pathology Department

The Pathology Department offers definitive tissue-diagnostic support services for cancer patients, including classification and pathologic AJCC staging of malignant neoplasias.

What’s most interesting, because we don’t see it at every hospital is that Miami Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital also offers a lymphedema program for patients suffering from primary and secondary lymphatic obstruction. The do this through The Kohly Center for Outpatient Rehabilitation. The staff uses Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) combined with physical therapy work to reduce the size of the involved limb and help patients gain functional independence to lead more productive lives. The Kohly Center is a member of the National Lymphedema Network. Post-lymphedema management program is also available.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Radiation side effects and self-care recommendations from the Mayo Clinic

This video from the Mayo Clinic discusses the common acute radiation side effects that occur during Radiation therapy to the breast or chest-wall. Recommendations on how to best care for your skin during radiation therapy as well as post radiation therapy skin changes are reviewed.