I start radiation tomorrow - the radiology oncologist wanted me to buy some RadioGuard but it is sooooooo expensive...he said I could also use 100% aloe vera gel and Vitamin E oil daily before treatments. What have others used?
Flutters, I never used any ointments or gels and didn't have any problems. If you're stressed over expense, why not wait and see whether you actually need to use anything, before deciding what to buy? Perhaps you'll luck out and not need anything at all-Good luck with your radiation- PJH
I used a combination of products. One of the most beneficial was my aloe vera plant. I slit open a leaf and applied the juice daily. I also used vitamin E oil (pure) and vitamin E cream. Burt's Bees diaper ointment was also very helpful. A and D ointment is also excellent. My radiologist said that all creams had to be off just before the radiation treatment, but any of the above were great to use all the rest of the time. They specifically said to avoid coconut oil. It interferes with radiation, I was told. Continue to use the above topicals after radiation ends as I experienced increased redness and pain after completion of radiation. Good luck to you.
While you might want to keep your expenses low, till you know for sure, you may want to purchase an inexpensive bottle of aloe vera gel from walmart now that it's summer. It can be used as a preventive measure, and for your sunburns. Just about everyone that I have spoke to about radiation has reported that nearly half way through treatment their skin became red, sunburned like and was painful. If the aloe vera gel helps and can be used preventively, it's better to have your skin soft and ready if possible. Then if you find you need something else later, then you can purchase the more expensive items.
Best of luck to you!
Many women have found calendula-based creams to be very soothing and to provide excellent burn protection during radiation, moreso than Aquaphor (that can also stain clothing). I stumbled across a calendula-based cream in Hungary before I was diagnosed and later used Wikipedia to research the ingredients. It also contained honey, a natural antiseptic, cocoa butter, avocado, olive, and jojoba oil and rosemary extract, and Vitamin B5 and E. I now use it as my night cream. If you are interested in learning more about calendula during radiation, just email me at email@example.com
I came across a cream in Hungary last summer and it protected me so well during radiation that I sampled it with other breast cancer patients and supplied a few of their comments about the cream below.
"(Hungarian) Radiation Cream is very soothing and works especially well when the skin is burned and open.
It is the only thing that did not cause the area to burn more when I applied it. This is a wonderful product." Karin
"I am using some Aveeno Hydocortisone cream and the Lindi Skin Balm, but it's not working as well as the cream did! I had just a little "burn" under the left side, more in the "bra line" so to speak, just for maybe the last 3 treatments or so. My radiation oncologist seemed very impressed by the condition of my skin. She (and the techs) said it looked like they weren't even doing anything to me. And each dose was 25% higher than a standard 6-week dose. It would be great for the Radiant Life cream to be available commercially in the US! Will it be? Thank you SO much for sending me the cream. I appreciated the help!" Jen
"Just had my final treatment and one of the radiation therapists said the condition of my skin is "phenomenal". Not having seen anyone else's condition, I have no way to compare results, but the therapist has seen many patients, and I think "phenomenal" speaks volumes for the cream. Thanks again for sending it to me." Midge
"I used your creams and I got through the radiation with only a very small burn, near my shoulder and collar bone. No blistering, no raw skin, no wet desquamation, no ulcerations. I did see one lady who did not take anything, as far as alternative supplements nor use any calendula cream, just Aquaphor, and she had serious burns." Tracy
As a result, I am now selling the cream at www.radiationcream.com If you would like to try it, just email me and I will mail it to you.
Be well, you are not in this alone!
To protect and prepare my skin, I was told to moisturize 2 weeks prior to the start of my radiation which included 23 treatments and 10 boosts at Mass General, Boston. A list of creams were given to me that included Aquaphor as the "best" for this purpose and Aveeno after that. Well, not being one to follow directions closely, I only started using creams about 1 week into treatment and Aquaphor and Aloe Vera did nothing to soothe extremely itchy, red raised bumps (I burned around 2-3 weeks into it). However, the hungarian cream that I bought last summer has calendula in it which is "the best" for burns and helps with healing. Check it out on the web www.radiationcream.com The other women that have written to me are experiencing the same burn relief as me.
The cream should be applied after each treatment and not less than 4-5 hours before treatments. You should use it about 2-3 weeks after treatment as well to help heal.
After more extensive research, I also found that Aquaphor has mineral oil as the main ingredient which has actually been linked to causing cancer in some studies.
I used Aqueous Cream, which is recommended here in New Zealand. It's easy to find and cheap. My skin stayed in really good condition throughout the treatment - the technicians commented on it. However, it has grown quite red and sore in the two weeks since I stopped treatment. If you want to try aloe vera, I suggest you get a nice healthy aloe plant with lots of leaves.