Health Report: Emerging medical sub-specialty can help cancer patients undergoing treatment

Health Reports

Overall, cancer deaths in the United States have gone down for the past two decades thanks in part to immunotherapy and specialized therapies.

However, those life-saving treatments sometimes come with a cost.

Lou Baxter has more on an emerging medical sub-specialty that helps the bodies largest organ during cancer care for tonight’s health report.

At 78, George Handy still does the landscaping at his suburban DC home. Yard work and 25 years in the Army meant he was outdoors in the sun for hours on end.

“I’m fair skinned. I grew up in a time when nobody really worried about skin damage,” said George Handy.

In July of 2018, unusual changes to his scalp took a life-threatening turn.

“It started as skin cancer and ended up as neck cancer,” said Handy.

George had surgery, six chemo treatments and six full weeks of radiation. The treatments knocked cancer into remission, but then this happened: two horrible rashes, one diagnosed as radiation dermatitis.

Dermatologist Adam Friedman is one of a handful of US experts practicing supportive Oncodermatology Dermatologist who treat the skin related side effects of cancer treatments, like targeted therapies.

In George’s case, Dr. Friedman prescribed a medication and topical cream for the rash, letting him spend more quality time with his wife, Marilyn, and the people he loves the most.

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