My Journey with Breast Cancer
In 2002, at the age of 35, I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. I underwent breast-recovering surgery (lumpectomy and lymph node removal), 8 rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments.
During the course of my radiation therapy, I experienced painful burns to the radiated areas around my breast. Desperate for relief, I used my pharmacy expertise and developed a skin-cooling compress that significantly lessened the burning and provided me the relief I was seeking.
Over the last 14 years, I’ve shared my skin-cooling formula with dozens of women receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer who also experienced similar relief when using my product. My hope is that every radiation therapy patient can benefit from my product while they endure their treatments.
Natasha Polster, RPh
Natasha Polster is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy
- Breast Cancer Statistics
It is estimated that there were more than 3.5 million women living in the US with a history of invasive breast cancer as of January 1, 2016.
- In 2016 an additional ~246,000 US women were diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Treatment for breast cancer usually involved breast-conserving surgery (BCS – lumpectomy/partial mastectomy) accompanied with radiation or mastectomy.
- Over 60% (150K) of US breast cancer patients will receive radiation therapy in addition to other treatments (Breast-conserving surgery, mastectomy, and/or chemotherapy)Source: American Cancer Society, Surveillance and Health Services Research, 2016
What is Radiation Therapy?
- Radiation therapy is a highly targeted and highly effective way to destroy cancer cells in the breast.
- The skin in the upper inner corner of your breast is more prone to get red and/or irritated than other areas because the angle of the radiation beam is parallel to the skin in that location—causing the radiation to skim across the skin.
Radiation Therapy Burns
• In many ways your skin reaction will be like a sunburn, with a mild to moderate pink color or redness, with itching, burning, soreness, and possible peeling.
• Patients who undergo more than 7 treatments of radiation have the potential to burn. Breast cancer patients receive 25-35 treatments. Burning may occur around the 5th-7th treatment.