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Health tips for coping with chemotherapy during summer

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in ALL ABOUT CANCER, Xanit salud | Posted on 08-08-2016


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Cancer involves treatment regimens which can be particularly hard-going for the patient. These include chemotherapy, a treatment which is very aggressive and which can have multiple side effects. Today we are going to cover some of the most common problems which can occur during the summer months with Dr Trujillo, Oncologist at Vithas Xanit Oncology Institute, including those involving sun related photoallergic reactions and hypersensitivity.

People undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy develop certain skin conditions which require them to take extreme precautions in the sun. However this doesn’t mean that they can’t: enjoy the beach, the pool, a walk on the seashore… They simply need to adopt certain measures to minimise the impact of skin exposure.

At Vithas Xanit Oncology Institute we have a few recommendations specifically targeted at the hot months

Some health tips are very easy to follow:

  • Avoid going in the sun in the middle of the day; sun radiation is at its highest between 12pm and 4pm.
  • Keep skin adequately hydrated. It is important to be hydrated on the outside, as well as the inside, each person using a cream appropriate to their needs. Just as the importance of drinking two litres of water a day is common knowledge, oncology patients must also be aware that the treatments which they are undergoing can cause abnormalities in epithelial tissue, these combined with the effects of solar radiation increase the skin’s fragility.
  • Use complete sunblock and apply it correctly. Oncology patients must use sun screen of factor 50 or above to block ultraviolet rays, both A and B. It must also be applied correctly, before sun exposure and then reapplied frequently, after time it loses its effectiveness and if only applied once there is the risk of leaving areas of skin without protection.
  • Use physical protection such as a hat, sunglasses and gloves as well as sunscreen. Consider wearing a swimsuit made from material which has sun block properties for improved protection if necessary.



Use of wigs

In summer the heat is the main reason a wig feels uncomfortable. The following advice can help to make wearing it  more pleasant:

  • Use finishing products such as mousse, wearing a wig with a “wet look” is an easy way of allowing it to be damp during the day, without it becoming frizzy.
  • Wear a wig made of natural hair, making sure it isn’t too thick.
  • Alternate the wig with headscarves and hats.

The headscarf, an essential accessory

Throughout treatment, the headscarf becomes an essential companion. It is therefore important that it is comfortable and practical, as well as looking good. Unlike a conventional headscarf, it needs:

  • To have no seams and be made of soft material on the inside which doesn’t rub the scalp.
  • To be made of natural, breathable material which does not trap heat, usually cotton.
  • To stay securely in place.
  • To provide greater coverage and volume
  • To be available in colours and prints which complement skin tone.

If you have any queries, please come to see us at Vithas Xanit International Hospital’s Onco-Aesthetic Unit. A team of specialists who offer oncology patients a free personal image consultation, with advice on styles and accessories suitable for everyone.

We also provide dermatological and cosmetic consultations to give you tips and advice on caring for, soothing and protecting your skin and scalp, as well as your hair.  We can also provide nutrition and dietetic services, helping you to reduce the side effects from treatment and improve your quality of life during the summer months.