Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's bolus.

Whenever I get radiated, the therapists place this rubbery like covering over the radiated area. It's called a Bolus. I thought it was there to protect the skin.

Silly me. I was wrong. It does the opposite.

Below is an explanation I found online:

"High energy x-rays are skin sparing. Because IBC requires a need for skin irradiation because of skin involvement by the cancer cells, the addition of tissue-equivalent bolus material placed over the radiation field can circumvent skin sparing. Bolus, a flabby, rubbery material, is used to 'fool' the radiation beam so it will deposit the maximum dose on the skin surface instead of a fraction of an inch deeper, as it would otherwise. Therefore, a skin reaction is almost inevitable in this scenario. Bolus is usually incorporated into radiation therapy when a surgical scar, such as a mastectomy scar, needs to receive a full dose of radiation therapy."

In order to address the skin issues I'm having, at the end of this week, the therapists are just going to apply the bolus every other day.

We'll see if that helps.

And just to clarify any confusion, my skin looks a lot worse than if feels. Currently it is somewhat irritated to the touch, but no huge pain. No agonzing burn. Let's pray that doesn' t happen.



At 8:18 AM, Blogger LH said...

that bolus sounds a little bogus.

i wonder how they name these things.

we have some sunshine down here today so a walk may be in my future.


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