Late Effects Of Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is applied to the areas of the body that are affected by cancer. Aftereffects occur only in the area that was treated. In some cases, treatment may also include healthy tissue. This is to make certain that all of the cancer is treated.
Newer methods of radiation therapy help minimize damage to normal tissue. Treatment is directed to the same area each time. Yet, radiation rays sometimes scatter. Tissues and organs near the cancer site might receive small doses of radiation if this happens. Late effects of radiation could include:
- Slowed or halted bone growth in children.
- Skin sensitivity to sun exposure.
- Problems with memory or ability to learn.
- Secondary cancers such as skin cancer.
What Part Of The Body Does Melanoma Affect
. Also question is, how does Melanoma make you feel?
Also, when melanoma develops in an existing mole, the texture of the mole may change and become hard or lumpy. Although the skin lesion may feel different and may itch, ooze, or bleed, a melanoma skin lesion usually does not cause pain.
how long does it take for melanoma to spread to organs? Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun. Nodular melanoma is a highly dangerous form of melanoma that looks different from common melanomas.
Just so, does melanoma cause physical symptoms?
General symptomshard or swollen lymph nodes. hard lump on your skin. unexplained pain. feeling very tired or unwell.
How does melanoma affect your life?
Some amount of feeling depressed, anxious, or worried is normal when melanoma is a part of your life. Some people are affected more than others. But everyone can benefit from help and support from other people, whether friends and family, religious groups, support groups, professional counselors, or others.
Tests That May Be Done
The doctor will ask you questions about when the spot on your skin first showed up and if it has changed in size or the way it looks or feels. The rest of your skin will be checked. During the exam your doctor will check the size, shape, color and texture of any skin changes. If signs are pointing to skin cancer, more tests will be done.
In a biopsy, the doctor takes out a small piece of tissue to check it for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only way to tell for sure if you have skin cancer and what kind it is.
There are many types of skin biopsies. Ask your doctor what kind you will need. Each type has pros and cons. The choice of which type to use depends on your own case.
In rare cases basal and squamous cell skin cancer can spread to the nearby lymph nodes Ask your doctor if your lymph nodes will be tested.
Basal and squamous cell cancers don’t often spread to other parts of the body. But if your doctor thinks your skin cancer might spread, you might need imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scans.
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How Cancer Treatment Causes Fatigue
Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, hormone therapy, immunotherapythese treatments and their common side effects challenge the body, and the body needs energy to recover.
When you start a new treatment, the body produces cytokines to help boost the immune response. When cells die, the body works to clean up those dying cells, causing inflammation. Its a desirable response in this case, but inflammationboth acute and chronicalso causes fatigue.
You can compare this fatigue to how you feel when your body fights the flu or another infection, like COVID-19. While your bodys working hard to fight the infection, you feel tired.
How and when you experience fatigue from cancer treatment may vary according to the treatment youre receiving and its side effects.
How Does The Doctor Know I Have Skin Cancer
Basal and squamous skin cancer may look like:
- Flat, firm, pale or yellow areas that look a lot like a scar
- Raised reddish patches that might itch
- Rough or scaly red patches, which might crust or bleed
- Small, pink or red, shiny, pearly bumps, which might have blue, brown, or black areas
- Pink growths or lumps with raised edges and a lower center
- Open sores that dont heal, or that heal and then come back
- Wart-like growths
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What Does Cancer Tiredness Feel Like
The fatigue felt by people with cancer is different from the fatigue of daily life and different from the tired feeling people might remember having before they had cancer. People with cancer might describe it as feeling very weak, listless, drained, or washed out that may decrease for a while but then comes back.
What Are The 3 Types Of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer the abnormal growth of skin cells most often develops on skin exposed to the sun. But this common form of cancer can also occur on areas of your skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight. There are three major types of skin cancer basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
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When Should I Be Concerned
It is important to remember that many different things can cause fatigue and/or anaemia, and more commonly it can be explained by lack of sleep, long hours at work, hormone imbalances, anxiety, depression or dietary deficiencies. However, for this reason, leukaemia can be hard to spot because the signs and symptoms are common to other unrelated problems. As a general rule, if your level of tiredness is affecting your ability to function properly and is persisting for an unusual length of time, visit your GP to gain professional opinion and rule out any underlying problem.
Knowing what other symptoms are typical of leukaemia is crucial for helping you make the decision to visit your GP sooner for a blood test. Connect the dots between the symptoms of leukaemia and spot leukaemia sooner.
For information on the other symptoms of leukaemia, click here.
Warning Signs Of Basal Cell Carcinoma That You Could Mistake As Harmless
Warning sign: A pink or reddish growth that dips in the centerCan be mistaken for: A skin injury or acne scar
A pink or reddish growth that dips in the center
The BCC on this patients cheek could be mistaken for a minor skin injury.
Warning sign: A growth or scaly patch of skin on or near the earCan be mistaken for: Scaly, dry skin, minor injury, or scar
A growth or scaly patch of skin on or near the ear
BCC often develops on or near an ear, and this one could be mistaken for a minor skin injury.
Warning sign: A sore that doesnt heal and may bleed, ooze, or crust overCan be mistaken for: Sore or pimple
A sore that doesnt heal, or heals and returns
This patient mistook the BCC on his nose for a non-healing pimple.
Warning sign: A scaly, slightly raised patch of irritated skin, which could be red, pink, or another colorCan be mistaken for: Dry, irritated skin, especially if its red or pink
A scaly, slightly raised patch of irritated skin
This BCC could be mistaken for a patch of dry, irritated skin.
Warning sign: A round growth that may be pink, red, brown, black, tan, or the same color as your skinCan be mistaken for: A mole, wart, or other harmless growth.
A round growth that may be same color as your skin
Would you recognize this as a skin cancer, or would you dismiss it as a harmless growth on your face?
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Other Possible Causes Of Fatigue During Cancer Treatment
Vitamin D deficiency is common in the general population. Correcting this deficiency in otherwise healthy people has been shown to improve self-reported fatigue. If youre fatigued due to vitamin D deficiency going into treatment, cancer therapy may be less successful and result in more side effects like peripheral neuropathy .
For example, one study of breast cancer patients being treated with paclitaxel showed that pre-treating vitamin D deficiency reduced the incidence of peripheral neuropathy and also led to fewer treatment disruptions and better treatment outcomes.
Another study showed correcting vitamin D deficiency may ease gastrointestinal mucositis, a painful inflammation and ulceration of the digestive tract, in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Consider getting your vitamin D levels checked periodically. In my practice, I often check it at least twice a year to get a better understanding of the patient’s vitamin D rhythms from summer to winter. I recommend levels of approximately 50-80 nanograms per milliliter .
When you check your levels is important, though. Levels tend to be higher during the summer, when people are spending more time in sunlight, and lowest at the end of winter. So, if you check it in the middle of the summer and your level is 30, thats low for the targeted endpoint of 50-80 ng/ml. But if its 30 at the end of winter, that means it likely was in the therapeutic range during winter, and your levels may be sufficient.
Skin Cancer Symptoms That Are More Than Skin Deep
When you think of skin cancer, you probably picture telltale lesions on the skin of a patient . However, those with skin cancer may experience a host of other health problems that might not be obvious to them or a medical professional without an exam.
Cancer is cancer meaning although each type tends to affect a certain organ first , it can affect your overall well-being. Here are 12 symptoms that may be related to skin cancer, especially if you have physical signs like sores or lumps but get checked out by a doctor either way
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What Type Of Cancer Makes You Very Tired
Extreme and recurrent tiredness is one of the common symptoms of most types of cancers. Tiredness is usually considered a warning sign of cancer progressing. Tiredness related to cancers usually does not get better with adequate rest or sleep. Patients may appear exhausted with very minimal activity.
- A cancer cell usually steals calories and robs normal cells of vital nutrients that by itself may lead to tiredness. Patients might not be eating as well as they normally would, depriving cells of vital nutrients that the body needs to function normally.
- In bone marrow cancer, cancer cells may interfere with the normal production of blood cells leading to anemia and tiredness.
- Likewise in cancers related to the stomach, intestine cancers usually cause tiredness because of blood loss.
- Cancers of the prostate and breast interfere with metabolic and hormonal processes causing extreme tiredness in the patient.
- All cancers produce a high amount of cytokines that are natural cell proteins that are normally released by the white blood cells in response to infection. High amounts of these cytokines can be toxic and lead to persistent tiredness.
- Some aggressive cancers may cause swelling in certain parts of the body, making limbs heavier and harder to move contributing to tiredness overall.
- Cancer of the lung may also cause tiredness and breathlessness.
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Living With Cancer: Understanding Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinomaSquamous cell carcinoma is a common form of skin cancer that develops in the squamous cells that make up the middle and outer layer of your skin. Most often, the cause is prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, or from tanning beds or lamps. Avoiding UV light reduces your risk of squamous cell carcinoma and other forms of skin cancer. Learn more about the symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma and what you can do to keep yourself safe.
Cancer fatigue: Why it occurs and how to cope Fatigue, usually described as feeling tired, weak or exhausted, affects most people during cancer treatment. Cancer fatigue may be caused by many factors, and the factors that contribute to your cancer fatigue may be completely different from those of someone else. Find out more about cancer fatigue, what you can do on your own to cope and when you need to seek medical care.
Treatment of soft-tissue sarcoma Soft-tissue sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that begins in the tissues that connect, support and surround other body structures. This includes muscle, fat, blood vessels, nerves, tendons and the lining of your joints. Your treatment options will depend on the size, type and location of your tumor. Because there are so many different types of soft tissue sarcoma, it’s important to determine the exact nature of each tumor so that the best treatments can be chosen. Learn more about the treatment options for soft-tissue sarcoma.
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Problems Eating And Drinking
- reduced sense of taste
- bad breath
Tell your care team if you have any of these problems. They may recommend painkillers or a special mouthwash that can help. Avoiding spicy, salty or sharp foods can also help.
Mucositis usually gets better a few weeks after treatment finishes, although sometimes a dry mouth can be a long-term problem.
What Is The Purpose Of Mohs Surgery
Mohs surgery is a painstaking procedure. It requires microscopic analysis of tissue cells while the surgery is taking place. The borders of each thin layer of tissue are analyzed for potential malignancy as they are removed horizontally. This technique is designed to remove the entire tumor with minimal amounts of healthy tissue. This results in less disfigurement. For this reason, Mohs surgery is ideal for removing skin cancers from the face, ears, or genitals.
The procedure is highly effective for skin cancers that have high rates of recurrence. Its also effective on aggressive or large lesions. Mohs surgery is also used when lesions have ill-defined borders.
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Treat Yourself To A Massage
A gentle massage can help with both the pain and stress from cancer. If you have lymphedema enlarged lymph nodes after surgery a special massage technique called lymph node drainage can help bring down swelling in the affected arm or leg.
Go to a licensed massage therapist who has training and experience caring for people with skin cancer. Ask your oncologist for a referral. Let the massage therapist know where on your body your cancer was, so they can avoid it during the massage.
Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of both radiation and chemotherapy. If you usually eat three large meals a day, switch to having several small ones. Smaller portions are easier for a sensitive stomach to handle.
Choose bland foods like crackers and dry toast. Drink extra water and other fluids to prevent dehydration.
How Long Does Cancer Fatigue Last
Everyones experience with cancer fatigue is unique. For some people, fatigue lasts a few weeks. Others may feel exhausted for years. You may feel better when your cancer treatments stop, but often fatigue lingers.
- Bone marrow transplants can cause prolonged fatigue that lasts up to a year.
- Radiation therapy fatigue often gets worse as treatments progress. Fatigue should lessen a few months after you stop treatment.
- Surgery tends to cause temporary fatigue that goes away after you recover.
- Systemic treatments can cause fatigue that comes and goes. These treatments include chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy. You may be exhausted while taking the medications and feel better during the recovery phase . When treatment resumes, you feel exhausted again. You should have more energy when you finish the treatment.
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How Does Melanoma Make You Feel
Melanoma can cause pain in the bones where its spread, and some peoplethose with very little body fat covering their bonesmay be able to feel a lump or mass. Metastatic melanoma can also weaken the bones, making them fracture or break very easily. This is most common in the arms, legs, and spine.
What Is The Best Treatment For Basal Cell Carcinoma
When basal cell carcinoma is detected early, patients have many treatment options. The best treatment for basal cell carcinoma depends on several factors:
- the patients characteristics
- the subtype of basal cell carcinoma
- the area in which it is detected
If you have a spot that wont heal, or any spot that seems suspicious, dont wait to call your dermatologist. The earlier a spot is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and the better your chances are for a full recovery. Give us a call to schedule your appointment so we can see what youre dealing with and get you started on the right treatment right away.
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Finding The Cause Of Your Fatigue
If youre experiencing unexplained fatigue thats concerning you and interfering with your daily activities, start with a visit to your primary care physician to investigate more common reasons for fatigue.
Your physician will probably ask about the level of fatigue youre experiencing and when it began. He or she should evaluate medications you may be taking for other health conditions because fatigue is a side effect of some medications.
Some common blood tests your doctor may order include:
- A blood chemistry panel to check for kidney disease, liver disease, electrolyte imbalance and signs of cardiovascular disease
- A complete blood count to screen for conditions such as anemia, immune deficiency or infection
- Thyroid function tests to evaluate thyroid gland function
- A vitamin D test to determine whether you have vitamin D deficiency
Other screenings may include a psychological analysis to determine whether youre depressed or a sleep study to see whether youre at risk for obstructive sleep apnea.
If those tests are negative, your physician should start looking for another possible underlying cause of fatigue.