MY BODY AND SKINYour cancer treatments are finally over, and it is important to continue to take good care of yourself in the weeks and months ahead. Although the most difficult period of your cancer treatment is behind you, it is key to continue with the good skincare routine you have embraced during treatment. Your skin will need extra love and care during this time, as you may still have some sensitivity, dryness or irritation. There are several areas where that require extra precautions, such as sun exposure. You and your loved ones have been battling against cancer for a long time and you may need time to rebuild your physical and emotional strength. Taking advice from others living with cancer can give you a fresh perspective on your own situation. Patient associations can help you with this. They are safe spaces in which you can exchange and interact with others in the same situation as yourself.
POST-CANCER TREATMENT AT THE THERMAL CENTER
THE TESTIMONY OF VALERIE
"After my mastectomy, I went for post-cancer treatment at the Thermal center and I am delighted with the results: my scar is smooth, my pain is almost gone, my arm has become lighter and more mobile. Beyond the care, it was a great experience thanks to a competent team who pampered us "
Valérie, 52 years old.
While treatment was ongoing you took care of your skin and body, and it is just as essential to continue this after your therapy. You may feel drained, but good hydration can help. There are many possibilities available for dehydrated skin on the face and body.
If you have lost your hair during treatment, you may find it starts to grow back differently, possibly straighter, curlier or with a different texture or colour than you expected. Your hair will be softer and more fragile than before so treat it with care.
If cancer treatment has left you with scars, massage can help to increase blood flow to the area, release tightness of the surrounding skin and flatten bulky scars.
While some scars should only be massaged under the supervision of a medical professional, there is some basic guidance endorsed by the British Skin Foundation that can bring relief but remember to consult with your healthcare professional before embarking on any massage. Sun protection, especially for scars, is essential.
Changes to your skin can seem overwhelming, and sometimes putting your skin into the hands of a dermatology specialist can take the pressure away from you, especially if your treatment has left you feeling weak. Some cancer patients choose to visit the La Roche Posay thermal center in France. The therapy centre is internationally renowned for specialising in sensitive skin conditions and offers many wellbeing treatments. It can treat your body, skin, and mind, at the same time, which can be a welcome respite as you recover.
”Broadly, after treatment the key is to help to soothe and protect the skin barrier. Again, skin during cancer treatment can become very sensitive and vulnerable to irritation and allergy, especially if an area has been treated with radiotherapy. After radiation the skin becomes red and irritated and warm as if sunburnt. It is absolutely essential that skin care applied to soothe post radiotherapy skin is a gentle as possible.”
Dr Justine Hextall, Consultant Dermatologist
WITH FELLOW CANCER PATIENTS
Now is the time to continue to seek support from others that have lived with cancer. Find advice and information from patient organisations. In recent years, the conversation has naturally moved online as those that have battled cancer share their experiences.
Blogs, forums and social media have all played a part in connecting cancer patients around the globe, there are a lot of inspirational stories out there to inspire you. Social media influencers have a huge online presence and share many life-affirming stories. Think about tapping into these to find a space where you can relate to others and share your experiences if you choose to.