According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), approximately 85 percent of breast cancer patients treated with radiation therapy will experience a moderate-to-severe skin reaction.  Furthermore, severe skin reactions or damage can lead to an interruption in radiation treatment and delay the patient’s overall healing process.

A recent study conducted by Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago showed that when breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy applied a topical skin cream formulated with a blend of natural ingredients made from botanical and marine sources to moisturize and soothe skin – Remedy with Phytoplex Nourishing Skin Cream – none experienced treatment interruptions due to skin damage.  Those results are in sharp contrast to the 50 percent of patients at the same facility who underwent radiation therapy using a different topical skin cream and experienced interruptions in treatment.

“Consistent use of the skin cream has made a positive impact on our patient’s quality of life,” said Nancy Chaiken, CWOCN, ANP-C, Swedish Covenant Hospital. “No lapses in therapy have occurred since the hospital started using Remedy and we’re pleased to see our patients’ skin hydrated throughout the duration of their treatment.”

During the January 2013 study, the hospital recruited five initial breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy – giving them specific directions on when and how to apply Remedy with Phytoplex.  A radiation technologist monitored skin condition daily and collaborated with the radiation oncologist in deciding whether treatment needed to be interrupted. None of the original five patients experienced interruptions in their treatment.

Given the encouraging results of this early study, the hospital’s outpatient radiation oncology unit started using the cream on all of its breast cancer patients to help hydrate skin throughout their treatment.  None of the additional 30 patients monitored in the past eight months experienced severe skin reactions or lapse in treatment.  

“As skin can become very sensitive after radiation therapy, it’s important for patients to talk to their doctors about how to safely care for their skin,” said Margaret Falconio-West, BSN, RN, APN/CNS, CWOCN, DAPWCA, senior vice president of clinical education at Medline, the manufacturer and distributor of the skin cream.  “Remedy with Phytoplex is designed for sensitive skin and is formulated without aloe, parabens, phthalates or sulfates.  When you compare skin condition among these patient groups, the difference is quite dramatic.”

In addition to all breast cancer patients, the hospital has expanded use of the cream on patients receiving head and neck radiation therapy. As a follow up to this initial study, the hospital is exploring another skin condition study with a larger scope.

Medline’s Remedy with Phytoplex has a full line of skin moisturizers, skin cleansers and protectants and is available at