Radiation treats your disease, but how to deal with the radiation damage?

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Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy has proved to be effective in curing life-threatening diseases in the last couple of decades. However, continuous exposure to radiation is something that our body was never prepared to endure. As a result, the skin area that is exposed to constant radiation due to the therapy sessions gets severely affected and injured over time. However, to prevent this skin irritation, many people apply creams and ointments formulated specially to deal with the burns of radiation on the skin. However, for a long time, the effective usage of this cream has divided the doctor community into two sections. One section believes that application of these creams though eases the pain, increases the radiation dosage needed for treatment as the cream provides an additional layer on the skin. The other section believes that in these modern days, the cream does not hinder the healing process of radiation therapy in any way and simply provides relief to the patients suffering from radiation burns.

Why does one section of the doctors oppose the application of radiation cream?

For acute diseases such as cancer, etc., radiation therapy is the only option for the patient to feel better and overcome the life-threatening disease. Generally, this radiation therapy includes going to the doctor for treatment for many sessions. As a result, prolonged exposure of the skin to such radiation makes the skin itchy. The skin even gets burnt and causes pain for the patient. To relieve this pain, patients take the help of this radiation cream that helps in stopping the itchiness and even healing the skin. However, the cream forms an additional layer, and this prevents the normal radiation dosage from penetrating the skin and attacking the disease of the patient. This forces the doctor to increase the dose of radiation that the patient receives, and though it might not be harmful at the moment, it might lead to harmful side effects shortly. For this reason, doctors advise patients to withstand the pain and avoid applying this radiation cream 4-5 hours before their next radiation therapy.

Why does the other section feel that radiation cream is completely safe?

While one section feels that radiation cream adversely affects the patient, in the long run, modern doctors dismiss these concerns on the basis of their faith in modern medicinal practices. Modern improved radiation therapy treatments have already reduced the dosage of radiation that current patients receive as compared to patients in the past. As a result, applying radiation cream does not hinder the process as the little bit of extra radiation that the patient receives is within the limits of the human body and does not affect the health in the future.

Fighting a life-threatening disease alone is challenging. With mental peace disrupted, the continuous radiation and the damage, it does to the skin of the patient simply add more pressure to the patient. To ease the condition of the patient, it is completely fine to apply creams and ointments as it does not harm the patient directly. However, the decision depends solely on the patient himself and the doctor treating him.