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Radiotherapy Care Package

User
Posted 04 Feb 2020 at 08:32

Hey All 

First time poster, so many apologies if this has been asked previously or I am not in the right place! 
My Dad has been diagnosed and is currently undergoing hormone therapy and he is due to start Radiotherapy in April. He is already suffering with sleeping and hot flushes unfortunately. In preparation for the radiotherapy I would like to start to put together a little care package of things that will help him with the side effects etc, I am thinking body creme, lip balms etc 

I was wondering if anyone could give me any more ideas of what I could put in his care box. 

Thanks Amy x 

User
Posted 04 Feb 2020 at 09:48

I mentioned this just recently in another thread, but go along to the (Macmillan?) cancer centre at his radiotherapy centre, and see if/when they're running a Look Good Feel Better session for men, and book him on it. Also ask if they run acupuncture sessions for hot flushes - many do, either cheaply, or even free for first few sessions. (If you go elsewhere for this, look for a practitioner who uses NADA protocol.)

Other useful things...Battery powered hand fan for hot flushes.

If he needs/uses a pullover, get one with a full length zip which can be quickly opened for ventilation.

1/2 litre water bottle (he is likely to need to drink between 1/2 and 1 litre of water 30 mins before treatment).

You need to get the advice of radiotherapists on any creams you use around the treatment area (abdomen, hips, arse). They will provide you with some of these if they're needed, but regular chemist products might not be the right things to use.

He should use a very high factor sun tan (UVA 4 stars, or 5 stars if you can find one) if he goes out in the sun, even with a T-shirt on, in a band right around the torso between penis and navel. He should keep this up for a year after treatment, as that skin may be ultra sensitive to sunburn.

Buy a 1.35 litre Innocent Smoothie, drink or discard the contents, and keep the empty bottle and lid in the car for when you get caught short. (It has a wider opening, and easier to pee into than most drink bottles.)

From around halfway through the treatment, it can get very difficult to hold a full bladder, and it can make you feel much more secure to be wearing disposable incontinence pants, so it doesn't matter if you fail. Tena mens 4 will hold a bladder full if you fail. I did leak a bit on the treatment table one day, and wore them continuously afterwards. Although I didn't need them again during the radiotherapy, knowing I had them on was a great safety net. If I'd got stuck in a traffic jam on M25, they might have got used again.

Other preparation...

Get as fit as possible before treatment - it massively helps with the tiredness the radiotherapy causes due to loss of red blood cells in latter half of treatment. (As a cyclist with a good hemoglobin level, even though I lost 8% of my hemoglobin during RT, I still had enough to avoid the tiredness completely, which is not the case with most people who don't exercise, and probably start with a lower level.) Many local prostate cancer support groups run cheap or free gym sessions, and they're great social opportunities in addition to the exercise. Failing that, check with local Macmillan. Exercise is also important all the time you're on hormone therapy.

Start working on pelvic floor exercises now. That can make the difference between wetting yourself or not from about halfway through the treatment until a month after it finishes.

Edited by member 04 Feb 2020 at 09:51  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 04 Feb 2020 at 09:54

Hi Amy, the radiotherapy centre will advise you on this and recommend or even supply what is essential.

I hadn’t realised that many creams including shower cream contain substances which can interfere with radiotherapy.

He won’t be able to use normal shower wash etc. while on radiotherapy.

Baby washes are ok I think.

See this link for some advice

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/radiotherapy/side-effects/general-radiotherapy/skin

 

 

 

Ido4

User
Posted 04 Feb 2020 at 10:04

Pure Aloe Vera is skin-safe, radiotherapy-safe, very soothing, and as/more effective than most complex creams (many of which contain metals so are not advisable).

.

-- Andrew --

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

User
Posted 07 Feb 2020 at 22:16

Thank you so much for the comments and insights. This is so helpful! It was feeling a bit of a mine field but these pointers are fab! 

thank you!! 

Show Most Thanked Posts
User
Posted 04 Feb 2020 at 09:48

I mentioned this just recently in another thread, but go along to the (Macmillan?) cancer centre at his radiotherapy centre, and see if/when they're running a Look Good Feel Better session for men, and book him on it. Also ask if they run acupuncture sessions for hot flushes - many do, either cheaply, or even free for first few sessions. (If you go elsewhere for this, look for a practitioner who uses NADA protocol.)

Other useful things...Battery powered hand fan for hot flushes.

If he needs/uses a pullover, get one with a full length zip which can be quickly opened for ventilation.

1/2 litre water bottle (he is likely to need to drink between 1/2 and 1 litre of water 30 mins before treatment).

You need to get the advice of radiotherapists on any creams you use around the treatment area (abdomen, hips, arse). They will provide you with some of these if they're needed, but regular chemist products might not be the right things to use.

He should use a very high factor sun tan (UVA 4 stars, or 5 stars if you can find one) if he goes out in the sun, even with a T-shirt on, in a band right around the torso between penis and navel. He should keep this up for a year after treatment, as that skin may be ultra sensitive to sunburn.

Buy a 1.35 litre Innocent Smoothie, drink or discard the contents, and keep the empty bottle and lid in the car for when you get caught short. (It has a wider opening, and easier to pee into than most drink bottles.)

From around halfway through the treatment, it can get very difficult to hold a full bladder, and it can make you feel much more secure to be wearing disposable incontinence pants, so it doesn't matter if you fail. Tena mens 4 will hold a bladder full if you fail. I did leak a bit on the treatment table one day, and wore them continuously afterwards. Although I didn't need them again during the radiotherapy, knowing I had them on was a great safety net. If I'd got stuck in a traffic jam on M25, they might have got used again.

Other preparation...

Get as fit as possible before treatment - it massively helps with the tiredness the radiotherapy causes due to loss of red blood cells in latter half of treatment. (As a cyclist with a good hemoglobin level, even though I lost 8% of my hemoglobin during RT, I still had enough to avoid the tiredness completely, which is not the case with most people who don't exercise, and probably start with a lower level.) Many local prostate cancer support groups run cheap or free gym sessions, and they're great social opportunities in addition to the exercise. Failing that, check with local Macmillan. Exercise is also important all the time you're on hormone therapy.

Start working on pelvic floor exercises now. That can make the difference between wetting yourself or not from about halfway through the treatment until a month after it finishes.

Edited by member 04 Feb 2020 at 09:51  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 04 Feb 2020 at 09:54

Hi Amy, the radiotherapy centre will advise you on this and recommend or even supply what is essential.

I hadn’t realised that many creams including shower cream contain substances which can interfere with radiotherapy.

He won’t be able to use normal shower wash etc. while on radiotherapy.

Baby washes are ok I think.

See this link for some advice

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/radiotherapy/side-effects/general-radiotherapy/skin

 

 

 

Ido4

User
Posted 04 Feb 2020 at 10:04

Pure Aloe Vera is skin-safe, radiotherapy-safe, very soothing, and as/more effective than most complex creams (many of which contain metals so are not advisable).

.

-- Andrew --

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

User
Posted 07 Feb 2020 at 22:16

Thank you so much for the comments and insights. This is so helpful! It was feeling a bit of a mine field but these pointers are fab! 

thank you!! 

 
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