Question of the Month November 2016
There are two types of Radiation:
- Ionizing – damages DNA. (Examples: Sun and Radiation used to treat cancer)
- Non-ionizing – does not damage DNA. (Example – radio waves)
Within the Ionizing radiation category there are several forms of radiation therapy (RT) that are used for treating cancer:
- External Beam Radiation Therapy – EBRT uses photons to deliver radiation to the tumor. (Client will not be radioactive)
- Brachytherapy – internal Radiation Therapy
- Examples: The Mammosite (temporarily radioactive during actual treatment and is not left in) which is used for treating breast cancer.
- Radioactive seeds that are permanently inserted and used for treating prostate cancer. (Client is radioactive for a period of 6 days)
- Radioactive Iodine Therapy (Radioisotope or Radionuclide therapy) – this is the internal therapy used to treat Thyroid cancer. (Client will be radioactive for 6 days)
- Proton Therapy – It deposits the greatest amount of radiation at the tumor site and then stops. (Client is not radioactive). There is good info and a great video on this at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance site: https://www.sccaprotontherapy.com/proton-therapy/what-is-it?gclid=CLnxuuGY6NICFQJrfgodW4AGtw
- Electron Therapy or Electron Beam Therapy (EBT) – uses electrons to deliver radiation to the tumor site. (Client will not be radioactive).
- Gamma Knife – used to treat brain tumors. (Client will not be radioactive)
- Cyber Knife – Used to treat tumors anywhere in the body, including prostate, lung, brain, spine, live, pancreas and kidney. (Client will not be radioactive).
- SIRT (also known as radio-embolisation) is a special type of internal radiotherapy that uses high doses of radiation to target liver tumors inside the body. (Client will be radioactive for a period of up to 2 weeks).
What to do:
- Prep the skin with Calendula Oil or cream prior to the radiation treatments and ongoing to keep it protected and hydrated
- Keep it clean and dry up to 4 hours prior to actual RT treatment
- Protect it and keep it from additional UV (use safe, proper spf)
What not to do:
- Do not touch or move the radiated skin
- Do not apply lotions or creams with additional chemicals or anything that could break down the skin. (Read the ingredients and choose safely).
- Do not go into the sun
- Do not pull on adjacent skin when doing spa treatments
- No massage or lymphatic drainage in the radiated area
- If they are radioactive – no spa treatments until they are no longer radioactive
We cover this in depth in our training and this is a limited bit of info meant only as a refresher for those that have taken the Essentials class. If you have any questions you can contact me directly: