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All TopicsForum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Radiation and blisters

Topic: Radiation and blisters

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After — What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Apr 5, 2009 10:32AM

moonwolf wrote:

How many of you have had very raw and blistered skin after RADS (for breast cancer) to the point where you could not shower for days/weeks?  If so, how soon after starting treatment did you blister?

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Posts 1 - 28 (28 total)

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Apr 5, 2009 10:47AM nelia48 wrote:

I'm on #25.  About 3 days ago, the first little blisters appeared.  My chest is now very red, and new blisters are popping out.  Very irritating and sore.  Wish I could walk around nude!!!!!

Visit my blog at www.hiddenrichessecretplaces.b... Diagnosos: IDC - T4, N2, ER+, PR+, Grade 2, 5/15 lymph nodes, diagnosed 7/2008 Stage IIIb
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Apr 5, 2009 11:11AM Naturewoman wrote:

I'm there now!! Under my breast; blistors, peeling, and some bleeding. Can't wait until this is all over! I've got 24 done with 9 left. Mine started somewhere around the 15th session. Tears fall sometimes because of the pain.

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Apr 5, 2009 12:33PM moonwolf wrote:

Thanks.  I'm trying to find out how common it is because I have OCD and am worried I won't be able to shower during treatment.  Can you all still shower?

Dx 6/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 5, 2009 02:05PM nelia48 wrote:

Yes, you can shower all you want.  You just have to be careful as to what soaps you use, etc.  Your radiologist and/or techs will let you know what is best and what to stay away from.  Right now, I have magic marker lines circling where they are doing the boosters, and it wants to come off, even without showering.  They told me to be careful over the weekend not to lose the line, and to put the creams on carefully so as NOT to erase the lines.  They will redraw them on Monday.  Yuk!  The black lines have run all over the place, getting on my clothing, etc.  NOT a pleasant experience.  Just when you need the creams the most, I have to use the least.  This cannot be over soon enough for me, believe me!

Visit my blog at www.hiddenrichessecretplaces.b... Diagnosos: IDC - T4, N2, ER+, PR+, Grade 2, 5/15 lymph nodes, diagnosed 7/2008 Stage IIIb
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Apr 5, 2009 02:30PM , edited Apr 5, 2009 02:30PM by nelia48

I'm not sure if this is appropriate here, but I'm not ashamed to show my scar!!!!!  Here is what my radiation treatment #25 looks like today:

Photobucket"

Visit my blog at www.hiddenrichessecretplaces.b... Diagnosos: IDC - T4, N2, ER+, PR+, Grade 2, 5/15 lymph nodes, diagnosed 7/2008 Stage IIIb
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Apr 6, 2009 12:17AM Mamie2 wrote:

Can you put some pure aloe skin gel on to relieve the redness. this has been helpful for me.

Rules and Models destroy genius and art. - Wm Hazlett Dx 12/16/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 6, 2009 06:23PM , edited Oct 4, 2010 08:16PM by 0000ut

This Post was deleted by 0000ut.
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Apr 8, 2009 03:29AM CaliforniaCloud wrote:

**Most of you ladies will not have to concern yourself with my issue of blistering and peeling because your chemo treatment is complete, but I write this for the ladies who may have chosen to do to do their rads with Mammosite or 5 day external radiation. **

I had 5 days of external radiation prior to my chemotherapy.  The radiation was a piece of cake with just a little "pinking."  I faithfully used a creme called Radi-Guard.  However, everything changed once chemo started.  Apparently, I am having radiation recall which sets my radiation site on fire about 5 days out and continues thru day 10.  My first chemo treatment turned  my radiation site red with some blistering and peeling.  The second chemo treatment resulted in my breast turning an alarming shade of plum and nearly the entire radiation site blistered and peeled. 

I asked to be seen by the radiology oncologist after the first treatment, but the office said it was normal.  I insisted on being seen after the second chemo treatment because I was sure plum was not an acceptable color.  The rad onc blamed the med onc for radiation recall and told me I had to make the med onc aware of this.  The rad onc had nothing to offer me other than aloe vera gel and Aquaphor.

Radiation recall, as I understand it, is chemo attacking the disorganized cells at the radiation site.  This is seen more often when there is little time between the end of radiation and the beginning of chemotherapy.  (For economic reasons, I needed to start my chemo right after radiology.)

The med onc agreed it was radiation recall and spoke of increased steriods for chemo treatment 3.  In the meantime he offered me 1% cortizone cream. 

Right or wrong, I have no idea, but the aloe vera gel seems to have more healing properties so I put the gel on and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap.  The wrap keeps the area constantly covered with the gel and I am pain free.  If I take the plastic wrap off and the site dries out I am in pain. 

For showering, I get a cold pack from the freezer, wrap it in a wash cloth, and hold it over the radiation site while I shower. I like warm showers, so this lets me enjoy my shower.  To clean the rad site, I turn the water temp to cool and gently cleanse with Wal-Mart's Skin Cleanser.

Day 14 and I am finally able to shower without discomfort.  My breast color is no longer plum, now it is bright red.  Not pretty, but improvement nevertheless! I finally have the attention of the rad onc; I will see him again before next's chemo treatment, so hopefully both oncologist's will track this with a little more concern.

Good luck, Ladies.

Cheers!

Cloud

"Courage is fear that has said its prayers" Dx 1/27/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 03/04/2009 Herceptin (chemical name: trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 02/16/2009 Partial-breast radiation: 3-D conformal external beam radiation (also called 3DCRT)
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Apr 8, 2009 04:48AM mumito wrote:

I showered even when my skin was oozing and open just covered it with a wash cloth.  I used saline solution I made at home to wash the dead skin off the burnt area. I found it very painfull had to take pain pills.  The blistering was the worst 1 week after my last treatment.

Dx 4/23/2008, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 8, 2009 12:02PM Angel40 wrote:

The last day of my treatment I have blister, then raw skin after a few days. That was Feb.17,2009. My surgeon said it was a mix of the boost, allergy reaction to aquaphor, and not enough blood flow right on my chest. My blister/raw skin/burn is right on my right chest. That was the result from mastectomy. Today, April 8, I still have the wound but it is dry and getter better. My breast was not burn, I used Jeans cream.

I go for wound care every week to make sure that it is healing properly. They gave me this water base/aloe vera gel then Silvasorb dressing that I cannot wet it or remove it for 3 days. Now they gave me silvasorb gel and adaptic dressing that I can change every day.

Hope this information can help.

Dx 9/4/2008, DCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 9, 2009 09:56AM , edited Apr 9, 2009 09:57AM by moonwolf

Thanks everyone for your replies.  Now I have to ask who did NOT have blisters?!  I wonder how common blisters are!

 I was told that only ladies with large breasts get blisters.  May I ask if you all have large breasts?!

 Thanks.

Dx 6/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 9, 2009 03:49PM nelia48 wrote:

I'm a 6 foot tall woman with a B cup size bra.  Not really that large.  I'm blistering all over the place.  My oncologist said because I was fair skinned and had a lot of "fatty tissue" left from the surgery, I would have a hard time with the radiation.  Not very encouraging!  But he was right.  Today I am plum colored with sore, open, weepy spots all along the scar line, and above and below.  Thank God I only have 4 more to go.

Visit my blog at www.hiddenrichessecretplaces.b... Diagnosos: IDC - T4, N2, ER+, PR+, Grade 2, 5/15 lymph nodes, diagnosed 7/2008 Stage IIIb
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Apr 10, 2009 07:59AM moonwolf wrote:

I was told large women were more likely to get blisters because of the fold underneath rubbing together.  Clearly yours nelia48 is on the scar area itself.  So I have had wrong info. Are other peoples blisters all over the breast?

It's amazing (and worrying for the patient) that they continue to radiate you even when your skin is so sore already :( .

Dx 6/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 10, 2009 08:39AM nelia48 wrote:

moonwolf, I am worried about it!  I get a treatment again today, and I'm wondering how bad it will get over the weekend.  I lay awake at night wondering if I'll end up in the ER again as it gets worse before it gets better.  The prescription cream seems to be helping some, but the pain comes back every time I move.  I'll be glad when this is over with!

Visit my blog at www.hiddenrichessecretplaces.b... Diagnosos: IDC - T4, N2, ER+, PR+, Grade 2, 5/15 lymph nodes, diagnosed 7/2008 Stage IIIb
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Apr 10, 2009 09:15AM , edited Apr 10, 2009 09:17AM by klp

I completed 33 tx, 5 boosts back in January...I had no sign of radiation burns, redness, blistering or anything...maybe I lucked out but to me it was a piece of cake to go thru other than the drive each day. I used emu oil after each tx and before bed...wore a regular bra and showered each day. Used Tom's of Maine deoderant, no aluminum..

Oh the breast question...I am about a B maybe a little larger.

Lumpectomy,SNB, 33 rads Oncotype DX 5...no chemo!!!! Started Tamoxifen and stopped almost 3 years later.. Dx 10/10/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 10, 2009 09:22AM ICanDoThis wrote:

Well, remember that cancer cells inside are a lot more serious than miserable skin on the outside.

And just about everybody heals within a week or two.

It just really sucks.

Sue - Proud to be Krista's Mom Dx 12/28/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 10, 2009 09:32AM moonwolf wrote:

nelia48 crikey! you ended up in ER?  That bad huh?  Did you have to stay in hospital?

Dx 6/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 10, 2009 09:34AM moonwolf wrote:

klp - some good news amongst all those blisters Smile  Any rib pain?
Dx 6/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 10, 2009 10:53AM nelia48 wrote:

moonwolf, I don't know how the word "again" got in my post, but no, I haven't been to the ER. . . . yet!  Today doesn't look much worse than yesterday, so maybe the cream is helping some.  I'm hoping the weekend break helps, too.  I do have some rib pain, but not sure if it's from the radiation.  I noticed rib pain after surgery and thought it was from the surgery or the drain tubes laying against my ribs, but it never went away.  That was in January.  Nothing showed up on the PET scan, thank God, but the pain is still there.  Not enough to whine about, but enough to always remind me I have ribs!

Visit my blog at www.hiddenrichessecretplaces.b... Diagnosos: IDC - T4, N2, ER+, PR+, Grade 2, 5/15 lymph nodes, diagnosed 7/2008 Stage IIIb
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Apr 10, 2009 11:59AM klp wrote:

Moonwolf..wasn't me with blisters...I had nothing including no rib pain..just like I never had any radiation.

Lumpectomy,SNB, 33 rads Oncotype DX 5...no chemo!!!! Started Tamoxifen and stopped almost 3 years later.. Dx 10/10/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 13, 2009 11:45AM Angel40 wrote:

I'm only pettite, 115 lbs, with 34B bra size.

I had the blister, raw skin and redness, itchiness. Still in wound care.

Hope and prayers for all of us to heal.

Dx 9/4/2008, DCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 21, 2014 02:58PM OneLump wrote:

I finished rad #16 on Friday.  Saturday morning woke up to a red and blue-ish/light black-ish armpit and nipple.  Blisters under armpit and very sore.  I have been lotioning up and applying burn ointment to the areas (burn ointment given to me by radiation oncologist).  I have 20 more sessions.  I could cry thinking about it. I left work early on Friday.  Have been nauseous and very tired too.  We will get through this, but wow.  Hang in there everyone!!  We will have a "normal" life again before too long.  Radiation is the last worst thing.  I'm hoping my scans come out good.  I scan in October.

OneLump Dx 6/11/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 08/11/2014 Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole, class: aromatase inhibitor) Surgery 07/02/2014 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my left breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Underarm (axillary) lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Sentinel lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side Radiation Therapy 08/19/2014
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Sep 21, 2014 03:48PM SailingWind wrote:

if you are blistering I wonder why the radiologist did not give you a prescription level cream? When Aloe did not seem to do the job I got more powerful stuff without having to ask.  Any one who is sore and peeling should ask. I have big breasts.  I have peeled but because of the Aloe and cream, I think . It is just pink new baby skin underneath.

Dx 6/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Femara (chemical name: letrozole, class: aromatase inhibitor) Surgery 06/23/2014 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my left breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Sentinel lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side Radiation Therapy 07/31/2014 Partial-breast radiation: 3-D conformal external beam radiation (also called 3DCRT) Radiation Therapy 07/31/2014
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Sep 21, 2014 09:08PM Spookiesmom wrote:

I woke up one morning with soggy pjs.  My RO rx'd silvadine cream  really good stuff!! For the itchey I asked for, and got lidocaine ointment.  Numbs the itch.  I also used an after sun product I found at Walmart called Ocean Potion.  It has aloe, calendula, tea tree, and lidocaine.  That really feels good going on!

I also had a week off from rads to heal up a bit, then we did the boosts, then finished regular rads.

It wasn't fun or easy, but we can do this!

Dx 4/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 10/14 nodes, ER+ Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole, class: aromatase inhibitor) Surgery 07/08/2012 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my left breast; Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my left breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Sentinel lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side ; Prophylactic (also called preventive) mastectomy of one or both breasts : Prophylactic (also called preventive) mastectomy of my right breast Radiation Therapy 02/05/2013 Chemotherapy 07/19/2012 Adriamycin (chemical name: doxorubicin), Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (chemical name: docetaxel)
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Sep 23, 2014 10:53PM Kicks wrote:

I burned VERY bad AFTER last rads - the entire irradiated area including around to back and up side of neck.  Had no skin issues at all through my 25 rads but the morning after last one I definately had major skin issues that only got worse - have the scars to prove it.  It was early March and finally the last scab came off on June 29.  What finally healed me was Domeboro soaks which is drying.  According to my Rads Dr, if moisturizing doesn't work, then it sometimes takes an astringent (drying) liquid to heal.  I was lucky to not get any infections in the area.

SailingWind -  Not everyone can use Silvadene/Sulfadene.  The active ingredient is sulfa and if you are allergic to it - can't use it.

Dx 8/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIc, 19/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 10/20/2009 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my right breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my right side Radiation Therapy 02/03/2010 Chemotherapy 11/10/2009 Taxol (chemical name: paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 08/24/2009 AC: Adriamycin and Cytoxan
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Sep 29, 2014 10:50AM OneLump wrote:

My blisters hurt so bad I had to get pain meds to sleep.  15 more to go...could cry thinking about it, but don't want to not get this over with.  Yes, infection scares me.

OneLump Dx 6/11/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 08/11/2014 Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole, class: aromatase inhibitor) Surgery 07/02/2014 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my left breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Underarm (axillary) lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Sentinel lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side Radiation Therapy 08/19/2014
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Oct 24, 2014 07:05PM Cmcgr05 wrote:

A friend of mine is 2 weeks in front of me with radiation. We both had lumpectomies, no chemo and are going thru 6 weeks of radiation. She opted for aloe vera and Eucerin products which was my preference as well. She is bigger chested and darker skinned than I. After 2 weeks, she was blistered and raw. This made me nervous as I was a few days from starting and decided to bite the bullet and get Miaderm right from the gitgo. Order from their website, shipping is free for 2 tubes (about $32 a piece). She ordered the same and is doing much better. The instructions say to start 1 week before starting radiation and continue till 1 week after so I did. Slight pink, no blistering at the end of week 2. I will update as I go.

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Nov 1, 2014 11:51AM OneLump wrote:

Finished radiation.  I am still swollen and suntanned now, but healing up very quickly once the boosts were over.  Fatigue wasn't super bad, but I did feel it towards the end of treatment.  I have a follow-up mammo in January and blood tests in December.  Sure hope I never hear "cancer" again.  I hear it is normal to think it's still there even when intellectually you now it's not.

OneLump Dx 6/11/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 08/11/2014 Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole, class: aromatase inhibitor) Surgery 07/02/2014 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my left breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Underarm (axillary) lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Sentinel lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side Radiation Therapy 08/19/2014