Breast cancer: supportive care is good for women

Breast cancer care does not end with the tumor. Supportive care encompasses all the care and support needed by sick people throughout the illness. We take stock with Dr Alain Toledano, radiotherapist oncologist.

Translated from the English “supportive care”, supportive care designates “all the care and support necessary for sick people throughout the disease which are associated with specific treatments (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy) when there is in a “.

They mainly aim to improve the daily life of patients: management of pain, fatigue, psychological suffering, self-esteem, nutritional difficulties … Several studies show it: benefit from oncological care from support in addition to treatment has a real impact on the quality of life and the clinical condition of patients. Dr Alain Toledano, radiotherapist oncologist, explains how this supportive care can improve the quality of life of breast cancer patients.

How important is supportive care in cancer management?

Dr Toledano : This care must be complementary to drug treatments and allow patient support. “They help to better tolerate side effects. In the field of nutrition (micronutrition, naturopathy), emotional management (hypnosis, sophrology) or adapted sports activity, all these treatments aim to put the individual back at the heart of the care process. If patients benefit from impressive technological advances, all this should not make us forget the men and women we have in front of us.

How does this care benefit women?

Dr Toledano : The better the treatment is tolerated, the more patients follow through. The care must be comprehensive to enable women to gain in quality of life. Today, two-thirds of patients still suffer from the effects of treatment or the disease five years later. Post-cancer ailments, too often underestimated. Promoting well-being (make-up, hair prostheses, massages) encourages women to take care of their bodies. One way to regain self-confidence.

Comprehensive care, the best response to cancer?

Dr Toledano : We have to devote time to patients and rehumanize medicine. The reality is that a third of people affected by cancer quit or lose their jobs in the months following the disease. We have to help them bounce back, to rebuild a balance. Patients often feel neglected, they find themselves faced with expeditious specialists who do not always provide answers to their questions. At the Rafaël Institute, the team offers around thirty disciplines intended to support patients and their loved ones in the ordeal of the disease. It is urgent to recreate the link. On a daily basis, we see patients come back to life.

A spa treatment for well-being

The post-cancer period is an important issue. Because, after treatment, women need to take care of themselves. For this, there are, for example, post-breast cancer spa treatments intended to improve the well-being of women.

Treatments for dry skin, scalp, nails, burns associated with radiotherapy, scarring, itching, joint pain, all of these approaches put forward in thermal establishments. Like the postcancer treatment at the Grands Thermes de la Bourboule (63), the treatments offered by Avène or the postcancer spa treatment at La Roche-Posay (86). The treatments are based on thermal water and improve the consequences of oncological treatments. A bubble of well-being to reclaim your body.

Cosmetos to take care of your skin

For some women, taming their new image in the mirror also involves advice on taking care of their body and skin. With aggressive treatments aimed at dislodging the tumor, women’s skin becomes fragile. “Chemotherapy changes the condition of the skin. For example, combination or oily skin will become normal. already dry, the damage is considerable “, alert Marie Alavoine, onco-esthetician at the Rafaël institute. As a result of the treatment, the skin becomes dehydrated, sensitive, reactive (redness, rosacea). In some cases, the usual products may no longer be suitable.

The important thing is to check that your day cream does not contain perfume, alcohol, essential oil and not too many anti-aging active ingredients. “There are creams sold in pharmacies and drugstores which are ideal for skin weakened by treatments such as Ozalys, Avène, La Roche-Posay or even”, Marie Alavoine list.

The best ? Choose products from a moisturizing range for sensitive skin. The fluid is more suitable for combination skin, dry skin will prefer a cream or a balm. “Before even buying creams, it is essential to think about your internal hydration and to drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water during the day”, recommends the expert. To take care of her weakened skin, she recommends avoiding scrubs and applying sun protection all year round – minimum index 30 and 50 recommended.

Our expert: Dr Alain Toledano, radiotherapist oncologist and president of the Rafaël Institute, post-cancer center

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