- the cancer patient is at risk for numerous treatment and
disease-related skin impairments, including:
- effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery
- pressure sores
- edema, ascites and lymphedema
- cutaneous metastases
- some effects of chemotherapy include: hyper pigmentation,
hypersensitivity, photosensitivity, rash, nail changes
- some effects of radiation include: dry or moist desquamation,
edema, radiation recall
- alopecia is a particularly distressing side effect for some
- focus on the patient's current skin condition and any
significant past skin problems
- observe color, vascularity, evidence of bleeding or bruising,
presence of lesions, pressure sores , edema
- describe any skin changes carefully, including location,
duration, onset, aggravating and relieving factors, treatments and
- review all medications as potential causes
- the goal is to maintain skin's natural integrity
- encourage meticulous hygiene, keep skin clean and dry
- assess high risk areas daily
- promote adequate nutritional intake
- protect affected areas from trauma
- encourage patients to get a wig prior to anticipated hair loss,
- identify sources of funding and places to obtain wigs,
scarves and other head coverings; the American Cancer Society can help with this
- minimize hair loss with baby shampoos, soft hairbrush,
infrequent washings, hair net in bed (in some cases, these
measures may not make a difference)
- encourage use of sunscreens, hats to protect scalp
- encourage verbalization of feelings, fears about hair loss
Couillard-Getreuer, DL and Heery, ML (1994) "Protective Mechanisms
- Skin" in Gross, J. and Johnson, BL (eds) Handbook of Oncology
Nursing, 2nd ed., Boston: Jones and Bartlett, p. 421-463.
DeSpain, JD (1992)" Dermatologic Toxicity" in Perry, MC (ed) The
Chemotherapy Source Book, Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, p.
Goodman, M, Hilderley, LJ, Purl, S. (1997). "Integumentary and
Mucus Membrane Alterations" in Groenwald, SL, Frogge, MH, Goodman, M,
Yarbro, CH, Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice, 4th ed Boston:
Jones and Bartlett, p. 768-822.
Sitton, E. (1992) Early and late radiation-induced skin
alterations: Part II Nursing care of irradiated skin. Oncology
Nursing Forum, 19: 907-912.
Early Palliative Care in Lung CA Focuses on Coping, Symptoms
Jan 31, 2013 - Early palliative care clinic visits, integrated with standard oncologic care for patients with metastatic lung cancer, emphasize symptom management, coping, and psychosocial aspects of illness, according to research published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
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