Acute radiodermatitis in cancer patients: incidence and severity estimates*
Keywords:Radiodermatitis, Head and Neck Neoplasms, Breast Neoplasms, Pelvic Neoplasms, Oncology Nursing
Objective: To estimate the incidence and distribution of the degree of radiodermatitis in cancer patients submitted to radiotherapy in the regions of head and neck, breast, and pelvis. Method: Prospective, longitudinal, quantitative study conducted from March 15, 2016 to May 4, 2017 with patients observed for five weeks of treatment. The primary outcome was the proportion of grade 1 or higher radiodermatitis each week. The degree of radiodermatitis and mean time of occurrence for each patient were secondary outcomes. Results: This study included 112 patients. The incidence of radiodermatitis was 100% among those whose head and neck region was irradiated, followed by 98% for breast and 48% for the pelvic region. The degree of radiodermatitis varied with the irradiated site; the worst degrees were found in the head and neck region, followed by the breast. In the three groups, the mean time of the first occurrence of radiodermatitis was approximately eleven days. Conclusion: The incidence of radiodermatitis in the studied groups was high, which reinforces the need to perform the same evaluation nationwide. This would support creating and standardizing protocols and recommendations for a proper management of radiodermatitis, specially concerning its prevention.
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