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Radiation--Reduce Effects with Mepitel Film

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janielou
janielou Member Posts: 7

Hello: I am Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, IIIC, triple negative. I am finishing radiation, 6.5 weeks with 5 boosts with bolus. I have used Mepitel Film, a wound dressing made of non-stick silicone. It helps greatly reduce the effects of radiation burns, i.e. dermatitis and moist desquamation (skin that weeps and bleeds from radiation burns). It helps a lot! I can't imagine what the pain and effects would be without it. I had to buy it myself. My radiologist never heard of Mepitel Film which was a concern to me he must not keep up with current developments.

There have been medical journal research articles about the use of Mepitel Film since at least 2010. You can Google it by using terms: mepitel breast radiation. A lot of research articles will pop up. All countries in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada use it for breast radiation. My cancer center is starting to use if for others since my situation turned out so well.


It's a clear film and comfortable to wear. You don't use any lotions or creams on your skin, just the Mepitel Film. Save yourself a lot of pain and discomfort! It works well!!!

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  • janielou
    janielou Member Posts: 7
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    Carole, I went to look up the brand you purchased. The picture of the ground "flour" looks very much like mine. You may simply not like the final product and you are not doing anything wrong.

    Minus, right now, all I have is intraocular hypertension. No disease at this point. Agree, hope it stays like that but we know the drill....I have to laugh, everyone in my family has high blood pressure. Not me. But now I have high eye pressures. OY!
    Why not make a pound of beans and freeze in portions, then you have beans on hand and no cooking time next time.

    Illimae, I'd take that tuna in a heart beat.

    I was supposed to take out some frozen coho but haven't done that yet so who knows what dinner will be tomorrow.

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 747
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    Karen: Like Ruth, I also hired a cleaning lady while I went through chemo. I also worked but adjusted my hours to accommodate my treatments/rest days. Ds was in college and dd was 16. I knew I didn't want to leave most things that needed to be done to her and dh. When my strength returned I stopped the cleaning lady.

    I cannot believe how cold it as been for you, Ruth. It was cooler today (high in lower 60s) and our grass needed mowing. Dh couldn't help so I pushed mowed for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Hardly sweated bc of the cool temperature. This is the 2nd time mowing this month. Should only be one time in March. Hope this is not an indication of this summer.

    Here are a couple of pictures for those waiting for any sign of Spring.

    The first are our tulips. The second is one of the azaleas. Soon it will be solid dark pink.

    image

    image

  • janielou
    janielou Member Posts: 7
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    Thank you for doing so much to help so many here, I read a lot of your book when I was first diagnosed with MBC. I am grateful for you, and I pray for a peaceful transition. Love and blessings to you and your family. You will never be forgotten. ❤️

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
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    Hi Octobersky, and welcome. We're so sorry for the worries that bring you here, but we're really glad you've found us. You're sure to find great information, advice, and support here -- if it turns out you need it.

    Please keep us posted with what your biopsy results say. We're thinking of you!

    --The Mods

  • janielou
    janielou Member Posts: 7
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    May be an image of one or more people and text that says 'I'm still reeling from this revelation in Trump's hush money case: He actually paid Michael Cohen back! AMERICAN AMERICANNEWSX NEWSX'

  • janielou
    janielou Member Posts: 7
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    Hello: I hope that this info will help.

    1. Make sure you are buying "Mepitel Film", not Mepitel, not Mepilex, not Mepitel One, etc. The packaging must state "Mepitel Film".

    2. Whether you're covering a lumpectomy or mastectomy, the film must cover the entire field of radiation. You may need some on your back where the radiation may also leave a burn.

    3. Be sure to get a size that will cover your underarm (axilla) in one piece. Don't 'patchowrk" the pieces anywhere, but especially not in your underarm. The film tends to come loose there, and any uncovered skin will burn and you'll end up with desquamation.

    4. Overlap cannot exceed 1 centimeter.

    5. I suggest you get a box of the largest size and a box of the longer thinner size for the axilla area.

    6. When you shower, put a small towel over your shoulder to prevent water from hitting the film directly.

    7. Let the nurse put the film on for you. It's hard to reach all of the places the film needs to go.

    8. The manufacturer (Molyncke sp.?) has at least one YouTube on how to apply Mepitel Film. Use the search box on YouTube.

    9. For your lumpectomy, make certain that the area under your breast, i.e. the crease, is covered!

    10. Wait for 2 weeks after you complete radiation to remove the film. Pull it off gently after a shower. There will be some residue from the film on your skin. Don't worry. Let any residue come off gradually during your next couple of showers. Don't try to pick it off your tender skin.

    11. The film will peel off at some edges during the course of your radiation treatment. Trim it back unless it covers part of the radiation field. Make sure the nurse replaces ANY missing film that covers the field of radiation. Again I want to emphasize that it's better to replace an ENTIRE piece than try to piecemeal it or patch it with small pieces. The small pieces will peel back and provide inadequate coverage.

    12. Mepitel Film is marketed as a non-stick silicone wound dressing. The edges stick, something like a Tegaderm. For application, the Mepitel Film has a lightweight cardboard edge to help get it property placed. The cardboard edge peels off after the film is placed on your skin.

    13. Cover every wrinkle, divot and crevice. Don't stretch the film when applying.

    14. Mepitel Film will not prevent redness. But it should prevent serious radiation dermatitis and hopefully all moist desquamation where the skin falls apart and bleed from the radiation burns.

    15. Do not use any lotions, creams, etc. over the film. Patients are advised to use Aquaphor, Miaderm, calendula or other creams during radiation. However, you will not use these since you are using the film. When the film is removed 2 weeks after radiation, you can use those creams at that time.

    16. As radiation progresses, some women feel an occasional itch, very slight. That's normal. It's slight and only felt rarely.

    17. Ask the nurse and radiation techs to use washable, non-permanent markers when they mark/draw on the film. This is especially important if the film is located where it can be seen where your blouse or shirt normally opens, such as at the V of the neck.

    18. You may wish to share these tips with your nurse and doctor.

    19. Here is the link to the most recent Mepitel Film breast radiation research article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology:

    Just got a reminder that I can't post links. Google the name of the Journal and 'mepitel film'. The article was published online in Dec. 2022.

    FYI: I had 6.5 weeks of radiation with 5 boosts on my mastectomy scar. If I didn't use the Mepitel Film, I cannot imagine the unnecessary pain I would have experienced.

    Good luck and let me know if I can provide other info.

  • yippeekiyaymf
    yippeekiyaymf Member Posts: 25
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    Thank you so very much for the info! It is super helpful--- most appreciated.


  • yippeekiyaymf
    yippeekiyaymf Member Posts: 25
    edited March 2023
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    Hey did you exercise throughout? I am hoping to mountain bike a bit or snowboard a wee bit or hike if my body will let me at all- but not sure how the mepitel would factor in with sweating and also staying put ...... And who knows maybe I'm totally unreaslistic--- or maybe I will have to do it all braless--- ;)

  • janielou
    janielou Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2023
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    Well...those are good questions. With Mepitel Film, you're right, it's good to avoid sweating for it to stay put. Sweat is not your friend during radiation for lots of reasons. It's not the bra, it's the film itself that is affected by the sweat. And once you have a few weeks of radiation you will begin to feel the effects, i.e. discomfort and fatigue. The danger area for women with a lumpectomy (vs. a mastectomy) is the crease under the breast. That's where you must be vigilant to keep the film in place as that is the high risk area for moist desquamation. That's also where the bra band is located that can cause friction, causing discomfort and rubbing against the Mepitel Film.

    Consider a bra that is a 'post surgery' bra that may be more comfortable. There are choices online.

    I know what you mean about exercising--I ride on a working cattle ranch along with grooming, training, saddling and caring for the horses. After the mastectomy followed by radiation, I put that on hold for a while. Can't rope now due to complications from the surgery. I love to walk and am able to do that. I am still on immunotherapy and started 6 more months of chemo today. I am almost 70 and I am guessing that our situations are different. It sounds like you are young and fit. That's great! I am not one to suggest what will work for you. Talk to your doctor and nurse, or just do what you want and re-apply the Mepitel Film as needed if it comes off during activities. Take care to listen to your body--you'll know when you're too tired or too sore. A good workout may do more good, mentally and physically, than any amount of treatment. My very best to you!

  • yippeekiyaymf
    yippeekiyaymf Member Posts: 25
    edited March 2023
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    Thanks for your insights I will for sure follow up with my team but it is great to have some ideas and info so I can have an educated and thoughtful conversation :) It sounds like you have been through it all. Working at a ranch sounds so amazing and like it keeps you super busy, fit, and gives you that happy (outside, physical and spending time with animals) mental boost. I live in BC, we are nestled in the mountains so although it isn't so rural anymore we live next to a huge river and there are trails everywhere and access to skiing with a bit of a drive so I am trying to get my dose of happiness even if its a short walk or bigger day whenever my body lets me! You are right even in the pouring rain it is absolutely the best thing for me- I'm not sure what I would have done if I lived in a city or suburbs through covid and now this--- We are so lucky :)

  • janielou
    janielou Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2023
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    Your home sounds amazing! It is great to live in the country, isn't it? Getting outside is the best therapy.

  • aimless1
    aimless1 Member Posts: 1
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    Janielou, here the Mepitel film? What size did you buy?