radiation burn, infection,open wound

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10/7/2010 5:39pm
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Replies: 5

If anyone out there has any information or been thru treatment for radiation burn and an open wound in a melanoma site, I would appreciate any help you could offer.  My Mom had a very large tumor removed in June in her inguinal canal which was a melanoma, probably metastasis from her big toe which was amputated 5 years ago. The surgical site healed very well. She has two other deeper tumors in her pelvis, that they have left alone as they said her quality of life would be affected. She chose not to do chemotherapy as she is 82 and did not want to feel sick with what time she had.  About 4 weeks after her surgery, a lump reappeared in the area of the tumor that had been removed. Since her lymph glands were involved in the surgery, the surgeon did not want to drain that area as he felt she could end up with a permanent drainage. Her oncologist offered radiation as a way to get microscopic cells left behind in the surgical site and "slow things down". Her organs have been clear.  She had 4 weeks of 5000  ???Grays a day. By week 3 she was badly burned ( raw area on inside of left thigh around 5 to 6 inches long by almost 2 inches wide) and the lump was still there.  Prior to radiation I read the radiologist report which said the lump was fat. They continued treatment until completion. She was told she could end up with a bad sunburn. She ended up with her skin turning black.  She had her do rinses 3 times a day to the site and apply a burn cream.  Early this week she got feverish and yesterday ended up in the hospital. Yesterday where the lump was, (and is?), opened up and a bunch of ( my sister said) blood and pus came pouring out.  She lives in Montana and I live in Washington and I have called my sisters as I feel she needs some Doctors who know about wound care.  The site is being packed and she is on IV antibiotic..  Does anyone know about hyperbaric medicine and wound healing?   Has anyone had a similar experience and has gotten good treatment?  Her skin that was healing from the burns has also been impacted by the infection and/or fluid accumulatiion.  Do you know of ointments or dressings that you have used to keep one area dry and healing while another area close by, is draining and packed? Has anyone had lymphedema cause a similar wound and if so how did they treat your wound? I will be going home soon and any help on what to ask and what to do would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Connie

Hyperbaric oxygen treatments are beneficial for  burns including radiation.  My daughter was able to do them for nerve damage due to radiation.  The treatments are time consuming, but easy...just lay in the "tank" and watch TV. 

 

Lauren (mom to Jenna)

Dear Lauren,

Thank you for responding.  How did you hear about the treatments and is the treatment center your daughter went to anywhere near Billings, Montana?  Were the treatments expensive and are they something insurance will cover?  Thanks again.

Connie

You asked about lymphedema causing the wound.  It to can cause an open wound and the surrounding skin to look burned.  The lymph fluid if it touches skin will burn.  I had a large lump burst and when I went to E.R. they thought it was a burn.  However my skin never turned black. 

Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

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