Updates on Kathy's battle with breast cancer.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Green Tea Spray and Turmeric Prevent Radiation Burns

It seems almost monthly, friends message inquiring about the green tea spray I used during radiation.  To save all of us time in looking this up in my Radiation post from November 2012, I'm adding it here.  Today, Sept. 1, 2018, googled "green tea spray to prevent radiation burns" and found posts about other radiation oncologists having their patients use a green tea spray.  I'm so sorry that ALL radiation patients are not informed about this.  It makes a HUGE difference.  I did not burn during my 30+ treatments of radiation.  I had some "tanning," very slight redness, but no blisters or burn pain.  Below are the instructions for Green Tea spray.  My radiation oncologist was Dr. Minor, through Indiana University Health System.  She was one of my top two favorite doctors through my process.

GREEN TEA SPRAY to prevent radiation burns.

Before starting radiation, I was given advice for foods, vitamins, and products I needed to avoid, and also things I needed to take or use on my skin to lessen the affects of radiation.  My doctor was involved with a group at Indiana University doing a study on the use of green tea, sprayed onto the radiation area several times a day throughout the radiation experience and a few weeks after.

What to buy or gather:  (Green Tea spray supplies in green)
* Green Tea bags (I purchased a 100 box from Costco & had left-overs)
* A fine mist spray bottle (I emptied a bath & body works spray bottle that had a body fragrance spray in it.  Clean it very well, you don't want any remaining alcohol in the bottle or tubes).
* an 8 oz. microwave safe mug
* Turmeric capsules (taken orally, 1 capsule daily)
* Vitamin B-50 (WITHOUT Vitamin C) 

The night before radiation:  
Place 2 green tea bags into a mug with 1/2 cup hot water (1 bag to 1/4 cup water was usually plenty--but try the full recipe the first couple of days and evaluate from there).  Let this stand over night.

In the morning, pour the freshly seeped tea into the fine mist spray bottle.
Before radiation, clean the skin area.  There should be nothing on the skin.  Dry skin after cleaning, then apply a thin layer of green tea spray.  Leave skin open to the air for a few minutes until it is dry.  (If you spray too much, drips will form and it will also take longer to dry).  

After radiation, (these were my instructions--follow your doctor's instructions if they are different), I applied a prescription cream to the skin.  After that soaked in (or after returning to home or work), I sprayed another thin layer of green tea spray, covering the entire quadrant or area of radiation exposure.  Let it dry, then clothing can be put on top.  Repeat the green tea spray 2 more times throughout the day, totally 4 sprays per day.  

Every night, repeat this process.  You need fresh, potent green tea every day.  
Follow the steps above each day of radiation.  

Turmeric has also been found to reduce burning.  In studies, they found that women from India undergoing radiation had less reactions to their skin.  They first researched Curry, which is made up of multiple spices/herbs, and then narrowed it down to Turmeric.  I took a capsule of Turmeric each day, and also a Vitamin B-50 (making sure it does NOT have vitamin C, which is bad for radiation).  I was told not to take multi-vitamins during radiation.   

Best wishes to you!  If you had chemotherapy, you'll likely feel like radiation is a cake walk.  It's a fast in and out, compared to chemo days.  For me, it was about 20-25 minutes in the door of the clinic and out again.  

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