The radiographers gave me tubes of aqueous cream the first week, but after that they told me to switch to Diprobase ointment (which they also supplied). It is very greasy and does tend to get all over the place, but it really works. Very cooling and soothing.
Hi Janey, for sore nipple try bio oil. I used it also on my op scars and it really helps to heal them and fade them. I used it to heal my scars on my knee replacements and they have really faded now as the first was two years ago and the other last year and yes breast cancer as well all within two years!! .
The various suggestions on using different types of veg down one's bras is amusing. Maybe we should start a thread on what veg helped me with my breast cancer?. Only joking ! Whatever helps I agree with . I have just ordered a chillowpillow which was a suggestion of one lady on this site to help me stay cool especially with night swets. Maybe one of those might be nice to apply against one's cooked boob to cool,it down? .
Sorry ladies feeling fiviroulous tonight despite feeling rough with a sore chest ( rad treatment caused) but now wondering might have chest infection so back to GP tomorrow. Hey ho so it goes on . Best wishes all with your treatment. Katy.
I've completed 10 of my 15, and after number 9 asked advice about a sore, hot, swollen nipple. I've been moisturising from a few days before radiotherapy started on the advice of the radiotherapists, and the rest of the breast is a bit pink, hot and swollen, but the nipple was the only bad bit.
The advice was cabbage leaf! Like the old wives used to suggest for mastitis when breast-feeding! I was frankly sceptical, and since we don't grow cabbages I used a broccoli plant leaf tucked inside my crop top. But amazingly it works! It feels lovely and cool going on, then moulds to the breast, meaning that nothing rubs on the nipple. I've taken to putting them in the fridge a little while before I need them, which is even better.
Downside, is that there is a noticeable fragrance of cabbage .....
After a trip to Maggies Centre the best piece of advice I was given was don't try and second guess what is going to happen and I'm going along with that. Im not looking too far ahead regarding getting back to work etc. I've now had 13 of my 25 rads and have what looks like a sunburnt breast. I didn't quite realise how big the area is that is getting treated. Sore and tired but feel I'm past half way. A cold wet face cloth was recommended to me for the heat and its working at the moment. i Bought some genie bras which are quite comfortable to wear if I'm going out the house but otherwise a wee cotton top with string straps is enough.
The BCN associated with my radiotherapy told me that she had done a number of trials using various creams including aqueous, E45, Aloe Vera and others. She told me not to waste my money on any fancy gels or aloe Vera as none of them has any better effect than ordinary aqueous that they would give me when I started my rads. I started my 25 rads yesterday and yes they did give me a tub of aqueous, but not befor I asked! Over the course of my treatment (WLE and recon on both sides after high grade DCIS) I have been given conflicting advice from various breast care professionals so it's no wonder there is a lot of confusion over what's best to use. I have my own E45, preferred by my oncologist, and the tub of aqueous so I will stick with this for now.
I was told by my oncologist that it is routine that invasive breast cancer has 15 rads and DCIS has 25 rads after lumpectomy. Not sure if this is different in other hospitals.
I have had 2 doses so far, so feel like I am on the threshold wondering what to expect, as it seems to affect everyone differently.
Hi Toni, well it was certainly used to be the case. Maybe they just don't have the staff anymore. I mentioned the point to my radiographer who did my review and she said I could just have female staff but I told her I did not want to cause disruption to their schedule. I just think the men involved needed to be more sensitive and understand that not all women felt OK stripping off in front of them!. I think my comments helped as she said she would feed it back at their team meeting.
At my GP surgery they offer to nurse to to be present with a male doctor if you want so it should be the same in hospitals. Katy.
Thanks so much ladies for taking the time to write your experiences, tips and moments down, it helps so much reading all this.
I saw my oncologist yesterday, but until my boob heals its nasty scab then they won't start the treatment, so it could possibly be another three weeks yet.
Im going to jot down the creams, websites etc you have all mentioned and make a list so when I see my oncologist next, ask what they think will be good for me.
Finner, definitely check the moisturiser with your nurse as it is just from your post I have read that you have been advised to use nothing.
Katy, you mentioned about having male radiographers, reminded me of when I was having a core biopsy, that was done by a man (not the gentlest of looking either) with two female nurses and two students, also one male. I felt totally uncomfortable in a 'really' small dark room and found myself getting quite upset. I was under the impression a female nurse had to accompany a male Doctor, surgeon at all times?
Hi Tonit3 and you other ladies, I used the aqueous cream before I started treatment putting on twice a day and carried on through treatment maybe putting on 3 times a day. I was given the OK for this by the radiographer who does the first visit pre treatment interview and the breast care nurse at my Oncology clinic so do not understand finner you have been told to use nothing.
I got the idea to use the Aloe Vera gel from someone on this website and it was amazing as i got a prickly heat rash and it sorted that . I have just posted on another thread about rad treatment the name of the special burn plasters my GP practice nurse gave me as they were really good and provided protection to the burn area under my breast which did not appear until near the end of the 15 treatments.They healed the broken skin area in five days and gave me protection from my skin rubbing against the chest wall. They are called Mepilex Boarder Lite by Molnlycke Health Care AB. I suspect they are expensive and we had to try a few chemists to get them and in the end they had to order them in. The company's website is www.molynlycke.com and they size for my burn was 4cmx5cm. If any of you get a burn under your breast then ask your GP practice nurse for a prescription.
finner, I liked the bit about your piece of blue paper as they did the same in my unit after they expose you they plonk it on and leave the room and I used to have a smile about that!.
My first visit was a bit of a shock as I had been dealt with all through by women even the surgeon and I walked into the treatment room to find two male radiographers and stupidly as it seems now I had a bit of a panic asked to go to the loo and got myself altogether again and when I went back into the room a female was also there. I am sure they don't really take much notice but I felt very uncomfortabke about it especially when one of the men said " you will have to take your top off" as if I did not realise that !!. Anyway, I think the whole trauma of it made me hypersensitive and I was in a bit of a state. I mentioned it to the review radiographer and said I felt they could of been a bit more sensitive to the fact it was my first time. Anyway after then no problems and only had a male student with other female staff.
It is daunting getting on that machine though as it really hit me I had cancer and I did have some minor panicky moments in the early days but then you get into the routine and I even met some nice people who were on a similar time as me each day. It certainly was an experience but like you all I was glad to get it a over with as you do move on afterwards , best wishes to you all, Katy.
Day eight and my first visit with skin nurse today who still recommends using nothing as a moisturiser. Not sure what to do really. Might try nothing for a couple of days to see how it goes.
When I go for my treatment I get a piece of the disposable paper they use on the bed to cover my modesty. Works fine then it just goes in the bin when I'm finished and dressed.
NumberNumber 10 done, 5 to go and skin holding up thanks to e45 cream. Boob feeling very bruised inside and out and very odd pains after treatments but nothing you can't deal with. I got given a breast care top to wear from the hospital and to keep whilst receiving radio. It has two flaps so means you keep your dignity throughout. All this bit been fine if only hot flushes would get better my life would almost be back to normal....whatever that was!!!!!
Hi Toni, I knew quite a while before I started rads what cream the hospital would recommend, my BC nurse gave me a leaflet from the rads dept. It might be okay to use either aqueous cream or E45 for a few weeks before you start your treatment if you've time just to make sure your skin is really well moisturised to start with, then see what your hospital recommends, They all seem to be different. Regards tops, my rads dept had the delightful 'hospital gowns' but that did mean I could lie on the table then just expose the area they needed to treat rather than have to 'get undressed' in front of them. What ever cream you are advised to use, keeping it in the fridge makes it soooo cooling. Make sure you slather it on liberally 3or4times a day and go 'topless' as often as you can. I found that I did get rather itchy towards the end of the treatment but was advised by the radiographer to take a piriton tablet each day, it really did help. The radiographers should check with you each time that you are okay and have no skin reactions, do tell them if anything is bothering you, they should be able to help. Best of luck Pat x
Hi there Ladies, just a few tips that might be helpful as I finished my rad treatment 3 months ago. I felt fIne until the tenth treatment when I suddenly experienced a sudden draining feeling which came over me. It was just as if my battery had been unplugged. It would pass after a short time but if I started doing anything physical it came back so be warned. It lasted about a week . I had fifteen treatments in all over a four week period due to Easter Weekend.
I did experience sharp pains sometimes during the treatment and to help with this I took a couple of paracetamols about an hour before treatment. I also used a vest with a support top in it rather than a bra as I found it easier to slip down just as I got to the table without having to 'undress' in front of the radiographer who sometimes were men.
I used aqueous cream, putting it on three times a day, but once my breast got redder and hotter I switched to Aloe Vera gel 99% which was great as it cooled me down especially when I developed a prickly heat rash on the middle of my chest.
I developed a sore area under my breast towards the end of treatment and really did not know what to do so went to see my GP practice nurse who gave me a prescription for burn plasters. I did not realise it was a burn just thought it was a sore area. They worked like magic, stopped chaffing and healed the area within five stays. So if any of you get this get to you GP practice nurse straight away and don't suffer! .
Best wishes to you all through your rad treatment , Katy.
I just finished 4 weeks of Rads on Friday. Hurrah. Feeling fine. Was expecting to feel tired but have had so much else going on that I've not really had time to sit and think. All my rad appts were early @ 10 so it got me in the routine of getting up and out in a morning. My skin is looking ok. Was very red n itchy after the first week but they then worked out I was allergic to the aqueous cream they gave me. Been using E45 and aloe vera gel since then and skin just a little pink. I am finding my bra rubs the skin so comfier just wearing baggy t shirt.
Interesting to hear about aloe vera. I'm a big fan of aloe Vera, used it for kids chicken pox and sunburn (my husbands bald) but the radio therapist said not to use anything at all. I have a couple of tubes in the fridge so will maybe use them. Isn't it funny how we just go along with whatever we are told To do.
Regarding the five weeks rads I'm not sure why some get 5 weeks and others gt three. My friend at work had four!
My mum has just finished week two of roads and feels fine. I brought her aloe Vera gelly from forever living living and she said it is really helping. One week left and she is a free woman. I am still waiting on results so will be a while before roads as think I will have chemo.
Good luck ladies xx
5 weeks of radiotherapy wow- is that standard practice where you live? Most ladies seem to only have 3. If you are sore now you will be very sore at the end of it. Try aloe Vera the 100% pure version and the gel. It's very cooling and will help stop you burning x
Thanks for the info on rad tattoo's, really I guess shouldn't be worried about a couple of spots considering and rather the radiographer be accurate each time. In the leaflet I was given, it says a possible side effect is insomnia, but reading your posts, it seems a few of you get tired.
Good tip about the music. It's nice to know you all get the weekend off, so enjoy it!
Like you all, I'm one week into rads. No so bad, bit red and sore at times but keeping the aqeous cream in the fridge works a treat. Twizzle - 19.00 hrs has also become my nemesis - legs turn to lead and just go to sleep!
Enjoy your weekend off ladies. x
Yay 7 sessions completed and now only 8 left and fingers crossed all ok. Fatigue floors me around about 7pm and breast tender but holding together ok. Good luck with the next week of treatments girls 🙂
Thank you coco0896. I'm glad to be having the weekend off and hopefully will get a long lie in bed tomorrow.
Toni, I did get the permanent marks but they are red/orange in colour and are so small I was worried the radiographer wouldn't see them. They do! They also draw lines around them before each session.
Jan, I have an appointment on Wednesday which will be my eighth session to check my skin. the treated breast is definitely a pink colour now.
I take in a different cd each day to listen to during my treatment but I'm lucky if I hear two tracks! Hold on in ther ladies. We'll get through it.
Hi Toni, I had my 15 sessions of rads in March/April. I don't think the tattoos are compulsory but they are used by the radiographer s to make sure they get you in the correct position quickly, but more importantly, accurately, each time you go on the machine. They use them together with laser lines and old fashioned rulers to position you correctly. They are really tiny dots which just look like blackheads. I have 2 in my cleavage and 1 on my left (affected) side. They are gradually fading and I have difficulty finding them amongst my freckles. Hopes this reassures you, best wishes Pat x
Im glad to hear your treatment is going ok and you dont have a list of major side effects. I am due to see my oncologist Tuesday to discuss a three week plan.
I have read you need to be marked via permanent tattoo dots, Someone has recently told me you dont have to have these. Did you have the permanent marks?
All the best with the next four weeks for you.
I have just had 7 sessions and have the weekend off. I have been attending the cancer unit in Preston and all my appointments have been at 8am. Like you, in and out and have the rest of the day to myself.
My boob is feeling very hot and firm and I am struggling to lie on that side. I have a skin care appointment on Monday so I can discuss my aches and concerns. This heat is killing me!
I am really looking forward to finishing treatment
Good luck with yours, Jan x
Well that's the first of five weeks of radiotherapy over. Breast a bit pink, warm and sore when I lie on my side but otherwise ok. I have an early morning slot so am in and out in 10 / 15 minutes. Find I'm needing a wee sleep in he afternoon tho. Hope everyone else is coping.