September was Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. A weeks days ago, Katie Couric (from NBC), Brian Williams (from NBC) and Charles Gibson (from ABC) hosted the “Stand Up to Cancer” evening that brought out loads of Hollywood celebrities lending their voice and star power to a worthy cause.
If you missed the incredibly powerful promotional advert for the cause you can watch it below:
The reality is that very few of us will go through our lives without being affected by cancer in one way or another.
Many women who have been battling cancer for years and who have been subject to hormone pills, radiation therapy, surgery, lack of appetite and physical and emotional woes have seen the effects on their skin.
If you take hormone therapy for instance, designed to slow down the growth of tumours, it will often leave patients with blotchy red patches on their faces and dry patches along the jaw line.
The reality is that so much medical intervention when battling cancer will have a huge impact on the skin. Although most cancer survivors are internally grateful to be able to live … a number of them are also concerned about the beating their skin has taken.
Companies like Lindi Skin and Jean Cream are part of a growing market … currently there are five other brands of skincare sold at drugstores and hospital gift shops in America dedicated to cancer patients.
The “mission” of these cancer specific skincare lines is to “help individuals feel better, both physically and emotionally and gain a greater degree of control over the side effects they experience during radiation therapy and chemotherapy.” Given that the regulations are different in Canada, I’ve not yet heard of these lines being available here.
Some dermatologists in America are skeptical about these brands targeting cancer patients and feel that their patients can get the same benefits by buying conventional skincare products sold at beauty counters, dermatology offices or drugstores.
One reason why there is such a debate around these new skincare lines for cancer survivor is price. Many of the products sold by these targeted skincare lines are more expensive than brands sold at drugstore and are comparable to many expensive skincare products sold at beauty counters of major department stores. Since Americans don’t have access to free health care and medical assistance … this means that it’s an added cost to the already monstrous cost of their cancer treatments or visits to doctors.
If you are a cancer survivor … you might want to try one product at a time from these lines designed for cancer survivors and see if you are happier with the results than you have been with your other skincare products. Perhaps, the most cautious thing to do is not buy the entire line and really go at it more carefully by trying one product at a time.
Many oncologists (doctors specializing in cancer) and dermatologists are giving greater consideration to skin issues because many new cancer drugs (called targeted therapies) are known to cause rashes so severe that some patients threaten to drop out if they are left untreated … simply because they cannot deal with seeing themselves covered with rashes.
If you are not being followed by a dermatologist … this might be a good time to find someone you feel comfortable working with and a professional who can better guide you when it comes to skincare for cancer survivors.
Photo by Tanakawho
Tags: Women's Health
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