The Effect of Skin preparation by Using Aloe Vera Gel on Incidence of Skin Reactions among Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Soheir M. Weheida, Neima Ali Riad, Samah Elgarhy Masry


Background: Breast cancer is one of the most fearful illnesses for women. It accounts for nearly one of every three cancers diagnosed. Carcinoma of the breast is the most prevalent cancer among Egyptian women and constitutes 29% of National Cancer Institute cases and 33% of all female cancers; the median age is 46 years. Radiation therapy is a fundamental treatment modality for cancer. One of the most common acute side effects of radiation therapy treatment is an acute skin reaction, sometimes referred to as radio-dermatitis. This is due to damage to the rapidly dividing cells in the basal layer of the epidermis (Stratum Basal). It is suggested that up to 95% of patients treated with external beam radiation therapy will develop some form of skin reaction. The reaction’s presentation will to some degree impact on the physiological, emotional and financial well-being of the patient, and can be significant enough to warrant cessation of the radiation treatment. Nursing care of patients receiving surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or biologic therapy, alone and in combination, begins with physical and psychological preparation. The vital role of the oncology nurse is assessment of skin reactions, patient education regarding skin care, prevention, and managing skin breakdown if it occurs. Studies have evaluated aloe Vera gel as one of prophylactic agents for radiation-induced skin toxicity. Showing that there are several pharmacologically active compounds presented in the aloe Vera gel may help to decrease inflammation. Aim of the study: to identify the effectiveness of skin preparation by using aloe Vera gel on the incidence of skin reactions among breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. MATERIAL & METHODS: (60) adult female patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer undergoing post operative radiation therapy were randomly and alternatively divided into two equal groups; (30) for each group: Study group    (I)  received skin preparation by using aloe Vera gel and Control group (II) exposed to routine hospital care.  A quasi experimental design was used . Tools: data was collected using a structured interviewing sheet it includes five tools, knowledge assessment sheet, the radiation induced skin reaction assessment scale. Visual analogue pain scale, malnutrition screening tool, and instrumental activities of daily living. Results: the radiation therapy induced skin reaction (erythema, dry desquamation, moist desquamation, necrosis)were significantly decreased among the study group compared to those among the control group. The radiation induced skin reactions symptoms from the patients perspectives of the study group had significantly improved compared to the control group. Conclusions: Usage of Aloe Vera jel in combination of mild soap seemed to have a positive effect on reduction of radiation therapy induced skin reactions and its symptoms. Recommendations: Using aloe Vera gel as a topical agent in all patients' recieving radiation therapy. Developing strict written guidelines with colored pictures about prohibited, allowed skin care activities and substances for care during radiation therapy and instruction given to prevent or minimize the radiation therapy skin reactions. Educational program for patients and their families to inform them about possibility of prevention, how to recognize the radiation induced skin reactions.

Keywords : Using Aloe Vera Gel, Breast Cancer- Radiation Therapy

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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