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Cancer in the Spa
By: Morag Currin
Posted: May 26, 2010, from the June 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Clients who are undergoing cancer therapies can experience a variety of benefits from spa treatments that are personalized for their needs. Following are several of the therapies experienced by those fighting cancer.
Oncologic surgery. Oncologic surgery is one of the oldest forms of cancer treatment and is still often the first approach used in treating many forms of cancer. It may involve a minor procedure, such as removing a skin lesion, or it can be extremely invasive, resulting in the removal of all or parts of various organs.
The absence of adequate nutrients in the body will inhibit healing at the wound site if surgery is necessary. Cancer therapies can have a significantly negative impact on the delivery of necessary nutrients during both short- and long-term recovery. Improving skin health before any surgery takes place can be effective in the assistance of wound-healing. Spa treatments, such as massage therapy, are also recommended before and after oncologic surgery in order to support wound-healing and healthy skin, and improve microcirculation. Good hydration and nutritional topical skin care products are necessary to support healing, as is keeping the skin at a pH between 4.5–5.5 in order to maintain well-balanced skin.
Nutrients to be ingested via diet or supplements, such as protein, vitamins A and C, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc, are also important for wound-healing.
Protein. Protein is the only nutrient that provides nitrogen, and nitrogen balance is crucial to healing. Protein also provides energy and is needed for electrolyte and fluid balance, as well as for the growth, maintenance and structure of the skin. Protein deficiency appears to delay wound-healing by prolonging the inflammatory phase and inhibiting fibroblast proliferation, collagen synthesis and wound remodeling.4, 5, 6