NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017
Coping with side effects
How do I cope with side effects?
Some basic skin care tips that can help:
Use warm, not hot, water when bathing.
Stick with mild, unscented soaps and
Use soft washcloths rather than loofahs and
pat yourself dry with soft towels.
Keep your skin well moisturized with
hypoallergenic, unscented, water-based
Avoid using products with alcohol in them.
Try a rich skin lubricant such as Bag Balm
or Udderly Smooth
right after bathing to help
with severe dryness or hand-foot syndrome.
Wear soft, loose clothing next to your skin to
prevent the irritation of sensitive areas.
If you have severe skin reactions, your treatment
team may try prescription drugs or creams. They can
also change the treatment schedule to give your skin
time to recover.
For more information on hair loss, skin care, and
other appearance-related issues, check out:
Wigs for Cancer Patients at the Cancer and
Careers Website atwww.cancerandcareers. org/en/at-work/Managing-Treatment-Side- Effects/Wigs-for-Cancer-Patients
The American Cancer Society’s “tlc”™ Tender
Loving Care catalog atwww.tlcdirect.org
Look Good Feel Better atwww. lookgoodfeelbetter.org
Mucositis and stomatitis
Why it happens
The tube-like organs that go from your mouth
right through to the other end is called the GI tract
ntestinal tract). It is lined with cells that
are always dividing and replacing themselves,
which makes them likely to being damaged by
chemotherapy. Cancer treatment can lead the GI tract
to become inflamed (mucositis)—often with pain and
diarrhea—and sores in the mouth (oral mucositis or
What you can do
Be kind to your mouth and the rest of your GI tract.
Keep your mouth clean and wet. Avoid products and
foods that can irritate the mouth and open sores.
Suck on ice chips or ice pops (not citrus)
before and during chemotherapy to help
prevent oral mucositis from developing.
Switch to a soft toothbrush, and brush your
teeth after every meal. If your mouth is very
sensitive, try a sponge-tipped swab.
Avoid products that contain alcohol that can
irritate and dry your mouth.