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Side effects of cancer treatment

Terms in this set (72)

1. Gently cleanse the skin in the treatment field using a mild soap (Ivory, Dove), tepid water, a soft cloth, and a gentle patting motion. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
2. Apply nonmedicated, nonperfumed, moisturizing lotion or cream, such as calendula ointment, aloe gel, Aquaphor, or Biafine cream, to alleviate dry skin. Some substances must be gently cleansed from the treatment field before each treatment and reapplied. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream 1% may reduce itching.
3. Rinse the area with saline solution. Expose the area to air as often as possible. If copious drainage is present, use astringent compresses (such as Domeboro solution) and nonadhesive absorbent dressings (they must be changed as soon as they become wet). Observe the area daily for signs of infection.
4. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing such as brassieres and belts over the treatment field.
5. Avoid wearing harsh fabrics, such as wool and corduroy. A lightweight cotton garment is best. If possible, expose the treatment field to air.
6. Use gentle detergents such as Dreft and Ivory Snow to wash clothing that will come in contact with the treatment field.
7. Avoid direct exposure to the sun. If the treatment field is in an area that is exposed to the sun, wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat when out in the sun and apply sunscreen lotion.
8. Avoid all sources of excessive heat (hot water bottles, heating pads, sunlamps) on the treatment field.
9. Avoid exposing the treatment field to cold temperatures (ice bags or cold weather).
10. Avoid swimming in saltwater or in chlorinated pools during the time of treatment.
11. Avoid the use of potential irritants (e.g., perfumes, powders, or cosmetics) on the skin in the treatment field; review use of other topical medications or lotions with your health care provider during treatment. Also avoid tape, dressings, and adhesive bandages unless permitted by the radiation therapist. Avoid shaving the hair in the treatment field.
12. Continue to protect sensitive skin after the treatment is completed. Do the following:
• Avoid direct exposure to the sun. A sunscreen agent and protective clothing must be worn if the potential of exposure to the sun is present.
• Use an electric razor if shaving is necessary in the treatment field.