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53

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017

6

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

moisturizers.

††

Use soft washcloths rather than loofahs and

pat yourself dry with soft towels.

††

Keep your skin well moisturized with

hypoallergenic, unscented, water-based

products.

††

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 at

www.cancerandcareers. org/en/at-work/Managing-Treatment-Side- Effects/Wigs-for-Cancer-Patients

††

The American Cancer Society’s “tlc”™ Tender

Loving Care catalog at

www.tlcdirect.org

††

Look Good Feel Better at

www. 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

(

g

astro

i

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

stomatitis).

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.