NHS needs to read report ‘Cured – but at what cost’
Highlights long-term side effects Tamoxifen
Recently, cancer charities issued report on long-term side effects of just ONE drug: Tamoxifen.
Shockingly, it said HALF A MILLION cancer patients suffer major problems from long-term side effects of Tamoxifen – but had been ignored for a decade Some even report problems lasting years after they stopped taking the drug. So it’s not just the effects of Winter`: research in US says patients could have side effects for 20 years or longer.
Yesterday, I tried to ask my GP for help in dealing with these – in particular my dry, itchy skin. GP just looked blank. ‘They’ blame us for surfing the net – but they could do some themselves and find out what is out there.
Dry itchy body skin
Do you have dry, itchy skin? So do I. The only help I had with dealing with this nasty skin problems was to be kept waiting an hour to see one Oncologist- to be told “it’s your age”, I had to find our what to do for myself when painful, dry, itchy skin, skin lesions, etc. appeared. But got much more help from major skin-care companies – see below.
A decade on, things haven’t improved much, but by using a skincare regime every day, I keep things under control. But do find if I am put on a new drug, or have to take pain-killers, symptoms flare up. Then it’s a double session of zapping every day, morning and night!
Not too hot water, and not too long under the shower.
After your bath or shower, apply cream – both for the sake of your druggie dried-out skin and to moisturise your body: nothing is more ageing than folds of nasty dry flesh wobbling around – ugghh! This takes a lot of effort to eradicate. But it can be done.
Slather good body cream all over you every time you have a bath, shower or a swim. At first this is going to be a chore, but I can promise it will soon be second nature! It helps if you leave the plastic bottle on the radiator – then the cream or skin balm goes on easily – and lasts longer.
La Roche Posay again makes superb body creams; their Lipikar range is the one recommended for cancer survivors; have tried every range and they all work brilliantly. Currently I am using a LRP Body Balm – Anti-irritation and Anti-scratching as it says on the bottle, and they really know their stuff. A nurse grabbed my arm the other day and said “you do have lovely skin”, and they notice! It comes in a tube and a larger plastic bottle, and I went mad and bought one for travel and one for every-day use. Unlike so many cheap creams, it soaks into the skin rather than lying on the top.
i weep when I come across the care and attention paid to this post-cancer problem in other countries, compared with the attitude in UK. Flexitol (Australia), Living Nature (New Zealand), iS Clinical (USA) are all companies, similar to LRP,that have combined research with their country’s Cancer charities, and produced clinically-trialed products specially formulated for us.
I use these all the time, so look in Search window for more info.
Boots the Chemists have given the matter some thought, and they say “we have skincare advisors who are trained in la Roche Posay in selected larger Boots stores. (Around 300 locations in UK) The easiest way for your readers to see if they have a store near them is to go to
www.boots.com/storelocator and enter in their postcode, ticking the box for skincare advisor. This will bring up all the stores in their local area with an advisor. Alternatively, any store can order in the products, or you can order online and have the products delivered to home or your nearest store.
Pharmacists are also very helpful (often more helpful than Dermatologists) and many have been selected to suppy LRP products.
From now on, the experts say we should be wearing an anti-sun cream every time we go out – at least on our face. Those that tell me this always seem the ones who have dewy-fresh skin! so there must be something in it!
The invaluable La Roche Posay makes Anthelios XL cream, with an SPF of 50+. You can be prescribed this on NHS (but have to make a fuss – not many Dermatologists or Doctors know this).
It soaks in, and leaves your skin lovely and soft, so I always wear it on my face whenever I do out. LRP also make large bottles of the stuff suitable for the body (when we get enough sun to make it worthwhile) – but I don’t know if NHS will prescribe the large dose – but you can certainly get the face tube size on prescription for free.
It’s water resistant, but if you are going swimming I would still re-apply it. And if you are in to numbers and acronyms, it has a high UVA protection factor, is one of most protective in the world, and was first in world to use photostable UVA filters – so now you know!
Anyway, I like it!
And for those nasties – from sore noses where they have dripped, to unexplained itchy patches, I take out the little miracle pot – Moa The Green Balm. It’s made of organic Yarrow, and been around in ‘folklore’ medicine for years, but is now gathered and made commercially, and it’s devotees swear by it for all sorts of little problems. But I use it wherever I have sore spots, from cracked lips to itchy patches, and it has been a life-saver.
In the old days Yarrow was used for treating wounds; as a herb there is a lot of it around, and I can remember seeing it in the fields where I grew up; little did I know how powerful it was!
And has it all been worthwhile?
Well, I had a long-awaited check-up with one of my favourite Consultants. She always cheers me up, even if news isn’t too good – but this time, she smiled at me and said ‘you do look well” and later on `’your skin looks younger`’.
Then we talked about important things like the red Ferragamo shoes i was wearing, which I got from their sale. No nonsense from her about wearing trainers; she realises that they don’t do anything for my ego – I’m not a “handbag’ person – I go for shoes, and the Ferragamo Vara range have a tiny heel, so are almost flat ties, but give you a lift. As I tell her, I go to her for my Fashion Fix – and medical attention as well – what more could one ask for? !!