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Radiation-induced skin injury: A challenging issue in outpatient wound clinic

from Today's Wound Clinic

Radiation therapy is an important modality in the treatment of numerous cancers. It is estimated that half of all patients diagnosed with cancer receive radiation therapy as part (or all) of their treatment. Unfortunately, in damaging/eradiating the cancer, radiation therapy can cause significant harm to healthy surrounding tissue. This skin injury can cause considerable pain and suffering to patients who are already stressed by the diagnosis. Wound care clinicians who are knowledgeable in the assessment and care of these painful, difficult-to-heal wounds can have a substantial positive impact on their patients' lives. This article will review the basic effects of radiation on tissue, the clinical presentation of radiation-associated skin changes and damage, and options for treating and healing the wounds that may result. more

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