An evaluation of the skincare management of patients receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer

Leona Mcalinden, Andrea Mullan, Paul Shepherd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim:Breast cancer patients experience skin reactions during radiotherapy. Radiation-induced skin reactions can result in treatment delivery being interrupted. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the skincare management of patients receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer in order to inform best practice.Method:A literature search was undertaken using USearch and HONNI in support of the first-hand evidence gained from the supervised on-treatment review of patients receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer.Results:There is evidence to suggest that the skincare advice given to patients varies widely between departments in the UK with many not following nationally recommended guidelines. Studies demonstrate that there are ways to reduce skin reactions and that there are a range of effective management strategies being adopted. Prophylactic skincare has been explored to improve the resilience of the skin prior to commencing radiotherapy.Findings:Further investigation is required in order to clearly establish the optimum national skincare management for breast cancer patients. More studies are required to test the effectiveness and viability of prophylactic measures. Skincare guidance needs to be robustly developed and effectively promoted by therapeutic radiographers for radiotherapy patients to benefit from reduced, radiation-induced, skin reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Radiotherapy in Practice
Early online date8 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Oct 2019



  • Breast cancer
  • Skin care
  • Skin reactions
  • Radiotherapy
  • skin reactions
  • skincare
  • radiotherapy
  • breast cancer
  • Key words:

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