"YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER."
These four words can change your life forever, forcing you to face many complex medical, psychosocial, emotional, legal and financial challenges. We are dedicated to helping you face these challenges by connecting you with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support.
In this section, learn more about breast cancer basics like subtypes and treatment options, and get in-depth information about symptoms and side effects. Using the menu on the left, you can find helpful pages on quality-of-life issues, planning for the future, and coping with breast cancer of any stage
"We hope the information offered in this section brings you comfort, empowers you to ask questions and enables you to make sound choices about health care that will help you manage a breast cancer diagnosis, through treatment and beyond."
For information designed with you in mind, access personalized sections based on your time from diagnosis, breast cancer subtype or stage, age, gender identity, ethnicity, and more by visiting our audience pathways.
MORE WAYS TO LEARN
We work with leading healthcare, wellness, legal and financial professionals to provide you with trusted information regarding your medical, emotional, practical and lifestyle concerns. Check out these popular programs and resources.
GET SUPPORTWhether you are newly diagnosed, in treatment, years beyond treatment, living with metastatic disease or are a loved one of someone with breast cancer, we have programs and services to support you. You are not alone. We are here for you.
We work with leading healthcare, wellness, legal and financial professionals to provide you with trusted information regarding your medical, emotional, practical and lifestyle concerns.
We offer our programs and services in different formats so you can access them when and how you need them. If you miss a program, don’t worry; we often record our sessions so you can watch or listen to them at a time that works for you. Most of our programs and services are offered at low or no cost to you.
Gather and connect with other people who have been impacted by breast cancer while learning the latest medical and quality of life updates from leading experts in the field.
Our online programs and services provide the same great information as our in-person programs, but with the convenience of participating from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Our publications make complex medical information easy to understand to help you learn about your diagnosis, treatment options and more. Topics cover everything from getting through the first few weeks after diagnosis in the Guide for the Newly Diagnosed to nonmedical means of coping with side effects in the Guide to Understanding Complementary Therapies. You can read our guides online or request free print copies.
Radiation Dermatitis and Breast Cancer
With Every 6oz Cream Purchased, We’ll Donate a Sample Pack to LBBC Assistance Program.
Breast cancer is the most common female malignancy in the USA. Approximately 250,000 estimated new cases are diagnosed and over 40,000 annual deaths are reported each year. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of malignant deaths in American women. (1)
Nearly all Patients who receive radiotherapy (RT) for breast cancer experience some degree of radiation dermatitis and would need relief from radiation's effects on the skin. Breast cancer patients may receive radiation therapy for breast conservation or post mastectomy decrease recurrence rates and improve overall survival. (2) (3) (4)
Patients undergoing radiation therapy to the intact breast or chest wall with or without lymph nodes typically receive 4–6 weeks of radiation. Radiation dermatitis is most common acute side effect. (5)
Anatomy and Skin Damage
Radiation affects the dermis, hair follicles and sebaceous (oil producing) glands. These are sensitive to relatively low doses of radiation and lead to the acute effects of hair loss and skin dryness. injury to the blood vessels. Damage to the structure of the skin induces a inflammatory response within the dermis ad contributes to both the acute and chronic skin effects of radiation. (6)
Assessing Your Skin During Radiation
Several grading scales exist to aid in the reproducible quantification of acute radiation dermatitis. In the United States, the CTCAE scale is most commonly used in clinical trials (7). It defines acute skin reactions to radiation as those occurring within the first 90 days after therapy. The scale encompasses five grades of reactions.
Grade 1: Faint erythema (superficial reddening of the skin, usually in patches) or dry desquamation (Dryness, itching, scaling, flaking and peeling and hyperpigmentation). This usually occurs within the first 2 to 4 weeks of treatment. These reactions cause skin redness and warmth and a rash like appearance. Patients may feel skin tightness or sensitivity.
Grade 2: Moderate to brisk erythema; patchy, moist desquamation usually confined to skin folds or creases. Moderate edema (swelling), dryness, pruritus (itchiness), and flaking of skin layers (dry desquamation) also may occur.
Grade 3: Moist desquamation in areas other than creases and skinfolds. Bleeding may arise from minor trauma, such as abrasion.
Grade 4: Life-threatening consequences, such as full-thickness skin ulcers, necrosis, and spontaneous bleeding.
Risk Factors for Developing Radiation Dermatitis
Larger breast size was among the earliest patient characteristics to be identified as a risk factor for acute skin toxicity. Additional patient factors such as the degree of friction due to normal arm movement, texture and type of clothing items worn, and a build-up of perspiration can contribute to dermatitis. Racial differences and menopausal status were also been linked to radiation dermatitis risk, with higher rates of moist desquamation in black and postmenopausal women in one prospective study. (8)
Techniques utilized during radiation therapy all influence the development of radiation dermatitis. Modern techniques that deliver a more uniform, homogenous radiation dose across breast tissue result in significantly less acute and long-term skin toxicity. Three-dimensional (3D) treatment planning significantly diminishes radiation-induced skin reactions. Modern 3D techniques account for changes in breast contour above and below the central axis to reduce inherent radiation “hot-spots”. These “hot-spots” are known to increase the risk of radiation dermatitis.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) are two methods that allow for multiple smaller radiation fields to more evenly apply the radiation. The use of these techniques is now considered standard-of-care for all centers. trials of 3D/IMRT technique have shown improved rates of hyperpigmentation, edema, and moist desquamation. (9) (10) diminished durations and severity of radiation dermatitis reactions in the acute setting; (11) and have resulted in significantly reduced long-term skin changes and fibrosis that are associated with breast radiation.(12)
Radiation Dermatitis Management Challenges
Subsequently, additional studies have been added to the body of literature and have been informative for identifying general principles of skin care during RT treatment. While the available literature has not clearly defined optimal treatment of radiation dermatitis based on high-level evidence, it is important to recognize that recommendations in use today, in practice, have not been found to cause any harm or interact negatively with RT.
K-PAX Vitamins is the consumer products division of K-PAX Pharmaceuticals.
At the core of the K-PAX IMMUNE and K-PAX ENERGY products is a micronutrient formula we believe supports increased mitochondrial health and energy production.
This signature formula was developed by Jon D. Kaiser, M.D. during the height of the AIDS epidemic to help his patients significantly outlive the prognosis of a quick demise. Combining this formula with the appropriate use of medications, the vast majority of Dr. Kaiser’s HIV/AIDS patients have lived normal, healthy lives.
With Every Gift Set Purchased, We’ll Donate a 6oz of Radiation Cream or Hand Foot Cream to LBBC Assistance Program.
Hand Curated Gift Sets by Thriver Lesley Nygaard
Designed and created by Cancer survivor and Ultimate Vitality Founder, Lesley Nygaard, each gift set features a hand-curated collection that helps bring support and comfort to patients.
“I created these gift sets because often when a friend or family member faces a cancer diagnosis, we want to help but we don’t know what to do and may feel helpless. As a cancer survivor myself, I know what items I received that were useful and meaningful, so I decided to put them into a single care package that you can send to a loved one with a recent diagnosis.” - Lesley Nygaard
Read Lesley's Story Finding her Vitality
Rose Quartz bracelet with aromatherapy lava beads - Rose Quartz is a soothing but powerful healing crystal that lends gentle, loving support. Rose Quartz carries the physical healing property of absorbing negative energies from the body. Emotionally it offers high healing vibration to assist one in working through all types of grief.
Thriver Essential Oil - Thriver Blend has a beautiful scent that comforts us and reminds us to be patient during times of emotional healing. Inhaling the oil blend while lying quietly with your bracelet will assist you with removing feelings of grief and sadness, and put you back on the path of hope and healing!
Radiation Relief Cream - Our radiation cream features ingredients that help calm and immediately soothe the skin while naturally protecting it from radiation effects. Formulated to protect the skin and give it the nourishment it requires while undergoing treatments providing immediate relief. Our cream is formulated with Aloe Vera, Calendula Oil, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin E and B, Green Tea, Yarrow, and Spirulina.
Pink Ribbon Cooling Relief Headband - Our Gaiter/Headband can act as a mask if you are concerned about compromised immunity and as a head cover as you lose your hair. It also has the added advantage of patented technology that when moistened and waved in the air can provide temporary cooling relief. This moisture-wicking gaiter/headband is made with a patented fabric and stays cool up to 30 degrees below skin temperature when wet.