• CancerPal

Gift ideas for a loved one going through radiotherapy


When a loved one is going through radiotherapy there are a wide range of helpful products that can ease the side effects.


We have conducted extensive product research and developed a number of radiotherapy care boxes help to ease these symptoms. All of these products have been recommended by those who have experienced radiotherapy treatment.


When and why is radiotherapy used?

Radiotherapy may be used in the early stages of cancer or after it has started to spread.

It can be used to:

- Try to completely cure the cancer.

- Make other treatments more effective – for example, it can be combined with chemotherapy or used before surgery.

- Relieve cancer symptoms if a cure is not possible.

- Reduce the risk of the cancer coming back after surgery.

- Radiotherapy is generally considered the most effective cancer treatment after surgery, but how well it works may vary from person to person.


As well as killing cancer cells, radiotherapy can damage some healthy cells in the area being treated which can cause a number of unwelcome side effects, such as:

- Sore, sensitive, dry, itchy skin

- Fatigue

- Aching joints and muscles

- Nausea

- Loss of appetite

- A sore mouth

- Upset stomach


Many of these side effects will pass after treatment stops but there are a number of products that can be used to help.


Sore, sensitive, dry, itchy, skin

Lindi products are well researched and are popular in America

Lindi Soothing Balm

Lindi Skincare is a skincare range developed specifically for cancer patients, which CancerPal imports from America. Lindi Soothing Balm is a rich, emollient, non-greasy lotion intended for extremely dry or compromised skin from radiotherapy treatment. Thanks to astaxanthin, avocado, olive oil and shea butter in its formula, Lindi Soothing Balm protects and moisturises dry, cracked, and flaking skin that can result from radiotherapy treatment. Pharmaceutical-grade ingredients and rare botanicals make this the perfect gentle lotion to tackle the driest skin.


MooGoo Deodorant

Skin is likely to become sensitive and sore when undergoing radiotherapy treatment and it is advisable to use gentle products suitable for sensitive skin. This MooGoo Deodorant is an aluminium-free, natural, roll-on deodorant. The unique, slightly alkaline formula, works by allowing perspiration (which is odourless) but preventing odour causing bacteria

from growing. No bacteria = no smell. MooGoo Deodorant is made with Milk of Magnesia and a light, fresh Lemon Myrtle scent and naturally preserved with Hops Extract. Free of aluminium, parabens, phenoxyethanol and over-powering essential oils that mask odour and can cause irritation. It is also Vegan friendly!


MooGoo Milk wash is gentle on sensitive skin

MooGoo Milk Wash

MooGoo Milk Wash combines small amounts of five different natural cleaners as this can be gentler on skin than one concentrated cleanser. MooGoo chose natural cleansers that wash well without drying out the skin. The foaming action isn’t quite as intense as it would be if they used a synthetic detergent like SLS (or other common culprits) but this is a small trade-off to use more natural ingredients that are healthier for us and the environment. MooGoo also uses a mix of natural skin conditioning ingredients. No essential oils that can also trigger reactions are added, but instead, a blend of Vanilla with the allergy-triggering compounds removed. Because it’s so gentle it’s also a no-tears formulation in children's eyes. Suitable for all ages, body part and skin types.


Colloidal Oatmeal has been used as an effective skin product for centuries.

Organic Colloidal Oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal is a centuries-old topical treatment for a variety of skin conditions, and more recently colloidal oatmeal has been clinically proven as beneficial for radiotherapy skincare. This organic colloidal oatmeal can be added to warm bath water as a relaxing natural soak. It can help to relieve itchy, dry skin and can soothe dry and inflamed skin from radiotherapy treatment. It helps to lock in moisture and to create a protective layer. Providing deep moisturisation it is a natural skin cleanser and is effective for those going through cancer treatment but can also be used for those suffering from eczema.




Udderly Smooth for dry damaged skin

Udderly Smooth Extra Care Moisturising Cream

This cream is often recommended by healthcare professionals for oncology related skincare. It's a non-greasy, fragrance free, deeply moisturising cream which helps to prevent peeling and cracking of the skin, particularly during radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment. Udderly Smooth Extra Care Cream contains 10% urea which is well-known for its hydrating, exfoliating and protecting properties.


Natural Unscented Soap Bar

When a patient is undergoing radiotherapy treatment it is recommended to wash skin with a mild, un-perfumed soap. This fabulous bar of traditional cold-pressed organic soap handmade by Handmade Haven Soaps is as simple as it gets. Wonderfully gentle and moisturising, there is nothing extra added - no artificial colourings, scents or preservatives. The soap bar contains just Organic Coconut Oil, Lye and Organic Cocoa Butter – that’s it!


Fatigue and exhaustion

Gel Bead Migraine Wrap helps ease headaches and supports relaxation

Gel Migraine Band

Anyone going through radiotherapy treatment could benefit from using a therapeutic gel bead migraine wrap which can help promote relaxation as well as soothing headaches and minor sinus pain. The gentle gel beads can be heated in the microwave for warmth or chilled in the refrigerator for cold application. Soft and flexible, the gel beads conform to the contours of the forehead for optimal coverage, so you can be sure every niggling spot of discomfort will be exposed to their soothing properties. For added benefit, the band is fragranced with lavender, mandarin and geranium to help the patient to relax and unwind.

Satin Sleep Mask

A satin sleep mask is an essential aid to help with fatigue and good quality rest. A comfortable sleep mask is extremely soft and kind to the skin and blocks out light to help your loved one relax at any time of day or night. The adjustable elastic belt is comfortable enough to accommodate any head size.

Himalayan bath salts contain detoxifying properties

Himalayan Bath Salt Sachet

We have specifically sourced Himalayan bath salts with no added essential oils which could irritate sensitive skin caused by radiotherapy treatment. These Himalayan bath salts are calming and soothing, moisturising and hydrating for the skin and have been used for centuries in beauty and Spa/Wellness treatments. Himalayan sea salt is known for its detoxifying properties and contains over 80 minerals and trace elements that are beneficial for the body, including potassium, magnesium, and sodium. These minerals help to improve circulation, relax muscles, and detoxify the skin. This sachet of Himalayan Bath Salts from the Little Shop of Lathers is a blend of coarse and fine pink Himalayan Salts with nothing else added that could irritate sensitive post radiotherapy skin.


jar candle with the word relax on the front
Scented candles can help with relaxation


Soy Wax Candle

If your loved one is suffering from fatigue brought on by radiotherapy treatment a candle is the perfect way to encourage them to take some time to rest and relax. CancerPal has a range of natural, hand poured soya wax candles for this very reason.


Aching joints and muscles

Aches and pains are an uncomfortable side effect of cancer. If you or a loved one are experiencing cancer related pain, please speak to your medical team as there are a wide range of different medicines and treatment available. You may also want to try non-pharmacological pain management, which is the management of pain without medications and we have listed several non-drug related options.


Boswellia Balm is designed to target painful aching joints and muscles

Boswellia Balm

Boswellia balm is a soothing natural cream specifically designed to target muscle and joint soreness. Based on wonderfully rich boswellia incense, this balm encourages flexible and pain free joints whilst providing a calming fragrance. An ideal natural remedy for those who suffer from arthritis, back pain or general muscle tightness. Medosan boswellia balm is manufactured in Swiss laboratories and is inspired by an ancient recipe from Buddhist monks. Containing valuable extracts of boswellia serrata incense from India, the balm has been clinically proven to reduce joint swelling and pain as well as increasing suppleness. Simply smooth the wonderfully fragrant balm over painful areas to feel its pain-relieving effects.


Neck and shoulder wraps can help with aching neck and shoulder muscles

Neck and Shoulder Wrap

A comforting shoulder wrap is re-useable and gently, comfortably moulds to the shape of the neck and shoulders. When warmed the neck and shoulder wrap is ideal for relaxation, increasing circulation and pain relief from the aches and pains that can be caused from radiotherapy treatment. The neck and shoulder wrap can be used It can be used as either a heat comforter or a cooling compress to help reduce swelling and fevers. The packs are un-fragranced and contain no chemicals and therefore tend to last longer than traditional wheat packs.



Nausea and Sore Mouth

Nausea is an incredibly unpleasant side effect of radiotherapy treatment. It you or your loved one are suffering from nausea we have written a series of separate blog articles on this. Generally, mint, ginger and citrus flavours and scents can help. However, here is a summary of some of our more popular products recommended by other patients and their loved ones.

Queasy Drops and Queasy Drops Plus are very popular

Queasy Drops Plus

Queasy Drops Plus have been recommended to us by many cancer patients to help ease the nausea associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Queasy Drops Plus can also help with general queasiness, bad taste in the mouth and dry mouth and provide a small energy boost. Developed by health care professionals, Queasy Drops Plus contain powerful essential oils, they are safe and natural, drug free, and 100% safe for children and adults. Each piece is Gluten Free and individually wrapped to stay fresh wherever you go.



Gin Gins Ginger Chews

For 30 years, The Ginger People have dedicated themselves to promoting the virtues of ginger. They take great pride in sourcing from the premier growing regions of the world and crafting the most innovative ginger products. Family owned and operated, The Ginger People and Gin Gins is the world’s most award-winning ginger brand and America’s leading supplier of all natural and organic ginger ingredients.




Vermints

Another very popular product that feature in many of our care boxes are Vermints. There is a range of different types of mint and we stock them all. The name 'Vermint' comes from the Latin word 'Ver'. It means 'true. VerMints are True Mints. They are honest. They are clean. Vermints ditched all the unpleasant, health-harming, chemically-modified ingredients that you usually find in mints and made super tasty mints from nature and nature only.

grey travel sickness wrist bands
Wrist bands can used as a preventative measure

Anti-Nausea Wrist Bands

Many patients use Anti-nausea wrist bands to relieve cancer treatment related nausea and vomiting. The elasticated bands operate by applying pressure on the P6 acupressure point on each wrist by means of a plastic stud. Anti-nausea wrist bands can be applied as a preventative measure before the onset of nausea, such as before surgery to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting associated with anaesthesia or before chemotherapy treatment. They may also be applied after the onset of nausea. Nausea is typically reduced within 5 minutes after the wrist bands are applied. The wrist bands must fit snugly around the wrist to work. One band must be worn on each wrist for them to be effective. There are no contraindications to their use and they can be used in combination with any other drugs.

QueaseEase Inhaler

QueaseEase nausea relief blend is a combination of four powerful essential oils to manage feelings of nausea and queasiness. It is made with pure essential oils, is non-prescription and starts to work immediately. It's natural, non-habit forming and non-drowsy and can last up to six months.


Bamboo Toothbrushes

Patients can develop a sore mouth when undergoing treatment and this can make feelings of nausea even worse. We have been told by patients who have undergone treatment that using a bamboo rather than plastic toothbrush can help as they are more gentle on the mouth. They're also better for the environment which is an added benefit.


Loss of appetite/Upset Stomach

Kee-moh snacks

We frequently work with Alyx from Kee-moh Snacks who is a fantastic source of knowledge and information. We have some recipes and recommendations in our blog section from Alyx for nausea but you'll be able to find further information and many more recipes on the Kee-moh snacks website. You could print some of these off and include them in your personalised care box - your loved one will then know where to go to find more information and recipes.


Mint tea can help to settle an upset stomach

Mint Tea

Mint tea can help with a variety of conditions associated with nausea and digestive problems. It helps with settling the stomach, can help relieve tension headaches, freshen breath and help with sleep. To make a cup of fresh mint tea, simply boil fresh mint leaves in a pot of water. The leaves can be crushed to release more flavour. Alternatively, if you don't have any fresh mint to hand, most of the popular tea brands offer a 'mint' variety. A box of mint tea would make a good addition to a radiotherapy care box.

We would always advise that patients check with their medical team prior to taking any form of dietary supplement and be especially cautious about combining peppermint oil with certain drugs because it may inhibit the body's ability to metabolise the drugs and increase the risk of side effects.



 

We hope you find the above suggestions helpful. We also stock a range of radiotherapy gift boxes containing many of the products mentioned above, take a look at the 'Radiotherapy Care Box' section of the CancerPal website.

 

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