Being in therapy to deal with a tumor is heavy in many respects and the ‘marks’ that the drugs leave are also visible on the body. Patients can see them every day by looking in the mirror and – especially for younger women – they are a reminder of the disease. Almost a brand that makes any attempt to disguise or even just forget about the tumor more difficult. Yes, because when hair, nails and facial skin show the impact of oncological therapies, the path taken cannot be hidden. And even if what matters most is to cure oneself and be able to chronicize the cancer, taking care of the body that hosts it is a necessary pampering also for the soul. With this in mind, the national Quality of Life 2021 campaign – October: month of Quality of Life – Cancer Patients’ Law starts, promoted by Apeo, the Professional Association of Oncological Aesthetics, with many initiatives for patients and caregivers.
Also take care of people’s quality of life
Oncological therapies are increasingly effective and targeted but can give rise to very important skin side effects, with significant repercussions on the quality of life, social relationships and the state of mind of patients. “Every day, in our country, 1,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed – he says Valter Andreazza, general secretary of Apeo. “The therapies available today are increasingly effective and result in longer patient survival. This is a huge step forward that sees, however, an ever-increasing number of people subjected to therapies and consequent secondary effects. It is now commonly accepted that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not simply the absence of disease” and the focus of our awareness campaign is precisely the attention to people’s quality of life. Defeating cancer is very important but just as important is how you live during treatment “.
The effects of care on skin and nails
Often skin and nails are so damaged that they prevent the normal carrying out of the simplest daily activities and in some cases even the temporary suspension of ongoing therapies. “With the October Quality of Life – continues Andreazza – we want to raise awareness on this aspect in the oncology field that has not yet been sufficiently considered. We believe in multidisciplinarity: the disease, as well as the cure, are the sum of many things and the Apeo Oncological Aesthetic Specialist is a fundamental piece of this puzzle which is the oncological pathology understood at 360 °. It is essential to let people know that there is the possibility of intervening on skin toxicities through specific protocols, scientifically validated. It is the right of all cancer patients to receive safe and effective wellness treatments, with a positive impact on the quality of life, which go beyond the simple aesthetic concept “.
How important is appearance in the care process
In fact, it is not just about feeling beautiful in therapy but above all about feeling good. “It is important to know that it is not sensitive skin but damaged skin, which requires specific and personalized treatments”, he adds Carolina Redaelli, president and co-founder of Apeo. “The drugs alter the epidermis in its structure: the skin barrier is altered as well as the physiological renewal of the epidermis and inflammation is created in the deeper layers. The most frequent symptoms are dryness, dehydration, cracking, redness and thickening. Nails may fragment, protrude, thicken, and rash with acne-like lesions may appear on the face. Treatment of the skin of a person undergoing cancer therapy must be carried out by qualified personnel. Attention must be paid to the patient’s life as well as to his illness. This is the principle that inspires Apeo’s oncological aesthetics and the national Quality of Life campaign ”.
The national campaign and the collection of signatures
The initiative, promoted by Apeo, is dedicated to the right of the sick to have a dignified quality of life. It will be divided into a series of initiatives, conducted throughout the national territory. Throughout the month of October, free consultations and treatments will be offered at beauty centers, care centers and pharmacies: the Apeo Oncological Aesthetics specialists will show patients and caregivers how to intervene on skin and nails damaged by the side effects of oncological therapies. It is requested that every man and woman in anticancer treatment be guaranteed, as a person even before being sick, the right to have a dignified quality of life. For this reason, a signature collection is underway with the aim of reaching 10,000 by the end of the month. “The initiatives promoted – continues Andreazza – are aimed at patients, their caregivers, but also healthcare professionals in the sector and public opinion. It is essential to let people know that there is the possibility of intervening on skin toxicities through specific protocols, scientifically validated. It is the right of all cancer patients to receive safe and effective wellness treatments, with a positive impact on the quality of life, which go beyond the simple aesthetic concept. In fact, it is not just a question of feeling beautiful in therapy but above all of feeling good “.
The Professional Association of Oncological Aesthetics has been active since 2014. The knowledge of the skin and skin toxicities from anticancer therapy allow the specialists in Oncological Aesthetics to support patients throughout their therapeutic path and keep the skin in the best conditions allowing the continuation therapies and a better quality of life. The first beauty center specialized in the treatment of people in cancer therapy in Italy was the Wellness Area at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan, active since 2013, where only Apeo professionals work. Since then, more than two thousand IEO patients, as well as thousands of people throughout Italy, have benefited from beauty and wellness treatments. Today the Apeo Specialists in Oncological Aesthetics are more than three hundred and operate throughout Italy (some also in Switzerland and Spain). “We are beginning to form a real network of excellence – he concludes Loretta Pizio co-founder of Apeo. “Our great goal is the quality of life of people in cancer therapy, through the training of qualified beauticians who can improve skin conditions, often severely compromised by drugs and promote a dignified quality of life with a positive impact in the psycho sphere. -social of the patient “.