Here is a list of all the aesthetic procedures that have been specifically adapted to your situation. These treatments have demonstrated to greatly improve the quality of life of patients like yourself.
The aesthetic branch of the medical profession doesn’t only focus on surgical procedures and medical-aesthetic treatments, it also addresses a wide variety of fields such as nutrition, physical therapy, rehabilitation, cosmetic procedures, dermatological and therapeutic complications amongst others.
GEMEON’s objectives are to look after your needs, solve any doubts and be your support system at various levels in these strenuous times.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE. WE CAN HELP YOU
FIRST PHASE. PREVENTION
Special techniques to palliate adverse effects of the medical and/or surgical procedure.
Es probable que en alguna ocasión haya oído hablar de que el cáncer se puede prevenir, aquí te daremos unas pautas a seguir:
Maintain a healthy weight. This is one of the key points to reduce the risk of cancer.
Do exercise regularly, adapted to your specific circumstances and in the frequency your doctor recommends (be it walks, dances, exercises…)
Eat healthy: fruits and vegetables daily and stay away from smoked or processed meat.
Stay away or stop alcohol, tobacco and drug consumption.
Lower salt and sugar intake.
Store food adequately.
In the case of women, learn and perform breast self-exploration and in case of a query, call your doctor.
o Annual check-up of spots and moles.
The untoward effect of tobacco on health has been known since the mid XXth century. One of the first cause-effect relationships was between tobacco and cancer. Nowadays 2 out of 10 deaths in the world are related to tobacco. It is the main cause of avoidable death therefore, preventing tobacco habits is imperative. Educators and health providers must educat and raising awareness from early school years.
If you smoke, seek advice from your doctor, there are many ways to help quitting smoking.
It has been well established that obesity is associated with hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes or sleep apnoea but until recently it had not been associated with cancer.
According to the last study presented in the ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) in Madrid in September 2017, more than just being overweight, it is central obesity, defined as a rise in the ratio of abdominal fat to peripheral fat, the one that increases the risk of cancer diagnosis in postmenopausal women.
The study confirms the important role of obesity and insulin resistance in the aetiology of different cancers, both being related with unhealthy diet based on too many carbohydrates.
The knowledge of the relationship between obesity and cancer allows for an improvement in prevention strategies and early diagnosis. In the war against these two XXth century epidemics, it is mandatory to be aware of the importance of fighting overweightness and obesity by incorporating healthy dietary habits and exercise.
Oncological treatments render patients more vulnerable to sun exposure. Many medicines are photosensitive, they alter the skin barrier and produce pigmentary alterations or spots. Also, these conditions increase the predisposition to have sun-induced cutaneous tumours so follow-up is essential.
Guidelines in photoprotection include basic pillars in order of importance: avoid sun exposure, use adequate clothing and topical and oral sun protectors. Primary and secondary sun screen protection is essential when there is photosensitivity and skin alterations.
It is well known that regular physical exercise, at any age and independently from our physical condition, helps prevent and can be an effective treatment against chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular….
Taking this into account, doing regular exercise in any sphere of life is of vital importance in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
Early diagnosis allows us to identify patients at the initial stages of the illness, when in most cases symptoms are absent, which increases possibilities of a cure. Screening programs are fundamental to obtain an early diagnosis of the most frequent cancers: regular mammograms, cytology, colonoscopies at a certain age or increased risk factor patients allow for survival rates reaching 80% at five years in function of the tumour stage and type.
It is imperative for patients to seek medical attention if there are changes in bowel habit, skin lesions, voice alterations, mouth ulcers that don’t heal, persistent cough, all fundamental for early cancer diagnosis.
SECOND PHASE. DURING THE ILLNESS
Body image is frequently altered in patients suffering from cancer mainly due to asymmetries provoked by surgery or by the adverse effects of adjuvant treatments such as alopecia, weight changes, skin lesions in irradiated fields…etc.
The quality of life of these patients and their relatives is most often affected by the great emotional impact that body changes produce.
The impact of cancer and oncological treatments limits social, family and personal life of these patients. The psychological wellbeing, as a subjective quality of life dimension, must be overseen by a multidisciplinary team that integrates the psychooncologist in the different phases of the illness. It helps the patient manage the fear and anxiety of a possible recurrence, the uncertainty of the future, the acknowledgement of a new body image and improving self-esteem to attain a proper social integration and return life to normal.
Cutaneous toxicity appears frequently during cancer treatment, it presents a wide range of reactions being either self-limiting or requiring temporary suspension of the offending drug.
A skin that is well toned will help minimise the untoward effects of the treatments, and once they appear, the symptomatic management with appropriate non-pharmacological cosmetics can be an important tool to increase self-esteem and quality of life of the patients.
The most frequent skin changes associated with oncological treatments are dryness, spots and irritation. The majority of these are transitory but it is important to take care of the skin during treatments to decrease the appearance of these secondary effects. Avoidance of products that contain alcohol, use of mild soaps and solar protection are the basic aspects of skin care in oncological patients.
Alopecia (total or partial hair loss) represents one of the fundamental clinical symptoms during cancer treatment. Due to it’s psychological impact related to the aesthetic and symbolic component of the mane, alopecia is considered as one of the main burdens of the disease. It is mainly related to chemotherapy though not all induce it and to a lesser extent, to guided therapies.
Cut or shave hair before commencing treatment to minimise the psychological impact of hair loss.
Use capillary prosthesis (wigs), scarves or turbans.
Aesthetic consultation for semi-permanent makeup (micropigmentation/microblading).
Evaluate psychological repercussion.
Other therapies exist that contribute to diminish hair loss like the “cold caps” and some drugs that accelerate the growing phase of hair. Do consult your doctor about these options and evaluate of they are appropriate for your case.
If hair does not regrow after six months to a year, it is necessary to discard other causes before diagnosing permanent alopecia.
The nail matrix is especially sensitive to chemotherapy. Nails exhibit changes such as alterations in colour, growth or nail plate aspect during treatment. They can also break (onycholysis), get infected or suffer trauma such as pyogenic granuloma.
Normally the lesions tend to be asymptomatic and mainly aesthetic or cosmetic in nature.
Some oncological treatments can cause inflammation if the mucosal lining of the digestive system (from mouth to anus).
This is known as mucositis, it can be oralwhen it involves the mouth or gastrointestinal when it affects the rest of the digestive tract.
You can feel pain, redness or ulcers in the mouth that can make it difficult to swallow.
It is imperative that you consult an expert doctor, find out the appropriate preventive and relief treatment.
THIRD PHASE. RECOVERY FROM ONCOLOGICAL TREATMENT
This is the time when we evaluate and quantify the aesthetic needs and wellbeing of our patients.
Though the oncologic treatment has ended, the skin retains still some of the changes that occurred during that phase: dehydration, hyperpigmentation, capillary fragility, scars, post radiotherapy tattoos, premature aging amongst others. All these symptoms generate an unfavourable psychological impact on the quality of life. As specialists in Aesthetic Oncological Medicine we can help improve these side effects with numerous treatments.
One of the most devastating changes that alters self-esteem is secondary alopecia due to oncological treatments. Once recovered from the initial phases of treatment when most of the hair loss occurs, this usually grows back in two or three months after the last cycle.
It is fairly common to have certain trait changes such as frizzier and grey hair.
Oncologic treatments can alter mucosae in a variable fashion. On one hand, the patients that received radiotherapy for Head&Neck tumours can present mouth dryness (xerostomy). In general, if the patients haven’t had radiotherapy normal salivation recovery is within a few months. Symptoms can be alleviated by drinking abundant water, using stimulating saliva medications and keeping healthy buccal hygiene. During this third phase, some patients can present with chronic inflammation of the oral mucosa (mucositis) secondary to chemotherapy, there are specific treatments to decrease the effects. Taste can change with certain chemotherapeutical agents though it normally recovers progressively after the third month from the last cycle.
The ocular mucosa can be affected are producing xerophthalmia that needs to be treated with artificial tears to prevent complications such as keratitis.
The genital mucosa can also present alterations with loss of normal secretions impacting on the intercourse and requiring use of specialised lubricants.
CHANGES IN VOLUME. LYMPHOEDEMA
The majority of carcinomas use the lymphatic system to disseminate locally and at a distance which implies that it’s a system that gets affected in oncological patients by tumour progression or by oncological treatments (surgery, chemo and radiotherapy). An increase in size of the extremities is known as lymphoedema. This incidence can be reduced by sentinel node biopsy as well as benefitting from manual drainage, exercise and compression clothing items obtaining excellent results.
CHANGES IN BODY VOLUME, LOCALISED FAT, CENTRAL ADIPOSITY
Overweight and obesity increase the risk of certain cancers through chronic inflammation and deregulation of sex hormone metabolism. These changes are more evident in postmenopausal women or women subjected to antioestrogen therapy such as in breast cancer. There is an increase central or abdominal fat that conditions a greater comorbidity risk. An adequate diagnosis of this group of patients allows treating in an effective way overweight and localised fat with different medical aesthetic techniques.
Nowadays there is an increase survival rate of human beings that entails ageing of the population. Because of this we need to be familiar with the changes in this stage of life to be able to treat health under different perspectives:
At the physiological level the changes affect the structures of the different organs tending towards atrophy and decrease in function efficiency.
At the psychic level because of the anatomical and functional changes in the nervous system, sensory organs and cognitive functions.
At the social level because of the changes in the individuals’ role and the environment. These changes will be influenced by the way each person adapts to the ageing process.
There are many types of treatments for cancer. The course you receive depends on your type and stage of cancer. Some people will only receive one type of treatment, but the majority will undergo a combination of treatments such as surgery with chemo or radiotherapy. You can also receive immunotherapy, guided or hormonal therapy and these treatments can be long-term.
Whichever treatment is conducted, one must follow the recommendations on diet, physical exercise and maintain a healthy weigh. This will increase subsistence and maintaining a health wright decreases cancer recurrence in survival patients.
The skin is one of the most vulnerable organs of the different oncological treatments. Please consult your Medical Specialist about the most adequate cosmetics and what type of treatments can be performed to maintain the best appearance.