Radiologists, radiation oncologists, and other healthcare providers who treat cancer play a vital role in supporting cancer patients as they prepare for and undergo radiation therapy. It is essential that medical professionals in these roles provide patients with medical advice that not only successfully treats cancer but also helps patients maintain a better quality of life during and after treatment. In fact, helping patients prepare for painful side effects, such as radiation dermatitis, may even improve patient compliance because patient quality of life has been improved. Below are a few ways that healthcare providers can help their patients prepare for radiation therapy.

Tip 1: Encourage a Stretching Routine

Radiation-induced fibrosis is a common side effect of radiation therapy. Advising patients on a daily stretching routine can mitigate stiffness and discomfort in muscles and soft tissues, particularly in the areas targeted by radiation. Patients who can alleviate stiffness and maintain flexibility can maintain a better quality of life and remain more active, both during and after treatment.

Tip 2: Emphasize Hydration

Remind patients to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, which can lead to fatigue and a dry mouth. Something as simple as carrying a water bottle to appointments or keeping a favorite hydrating beverage at home can help patients remember to drink fluids regularly. Additionally, recommend eating fruits and vegetables at meals because their high water content makes their consumption a straightforward way for patients to stay hydrated and healthy.

Tip 3 Recommend Loose-Fitting, Comfortable Clothes for Appointments

Advise patients to find loose-fitting, comfortable clothes for radiation therapy appointments. Tell them that tight clothing may rub against their skin and irritate the radiation site. Tight clothing can be especially painful if the patient develops radiation dermatitis.

Tip 4: Prescribe KeraStat® Cream

Our top tip to help patients prepare for radiation therapy is to prescribe KeraStat® Cream, an FDA-cleared prescription to manage radiation dermatitis. Radiation dermatitis is a painful side effect of radiation therapy that can increase patient noncompliance. KeraStat® Cream harnesses keratin proteins to support the management of dry, light, and moderately exuding partial thickness skin wounds. It is a better way to manage radiation dermatitis than over-the-counter medications and may improve patient compliance. KeraStat® Cream should be prescribed before a patient’s first radiation therapy appointment and applied as directed after each session.

Sharing these practical tips with patients is an effortless way to empower them to take an active role in their cancer treatment. These tips may also help patients maintain a better quality of life during and after cancer treatment. The advice of healthcare providers can make a difference, so it is important to help patients feel supported throughout their treatment journey.