Having cancer and going through radiation therapy is stressful. It's important that you take good care of yourself during your treatment. Your Riverside medical team will be glad to offer advice and help in managing side effects and staying positive during treatment. Here are a few Riverside tips for self care during this time.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Tell your doctor about any medications or vitamins you are taking to make sure they're safe to use during radiation therapy.
- Eat a balanced diet. If food tastes funny or you're having trouble eating, tell your doctor or dietician. They may be able to help you change the way you eat. It is important that you maintain your weight during radiation treatment.
- Use skin lotion at least once a day.
- Avoid sunburn. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and wear long sleeves and long pants if you need to be in the sun.
- Wear gloves when you garden or cook to avoid burns or cuts.
- Clip your toenails straight across, file your fingernails, and do not cut your cuticles.
- Keep your feet clean and wear dry, cotton socks.
- Clean cuts with soap and water and then use antibacterial ointment.
- Avoid extreme hot or cold, such as ice packs or heating pads.
- Do not put pressure on your arm or leg. For example, do not cross your legs when sitting or carry your purse on the side that had radiation.
- Wear loose clothes that do not have tight elastic cuffs or waistbands.
Notice early signs of lymphedema or swelling.
Lymphadema is caused by damage to the lymph system during surgery or radiation. Let your doctor or nurse know if you have:
- Pain or a sense of heaviness in your arm or leg
- A feeling of tightness in your arm or leg
- Trouble putting on your shoes or rings
- Weakness in your arm or leg
- Redness, swelling, or other signs of infection