A patient diagnosed with gastric cancer develops a stage two skin reaction from radiation therapy. The nurse is evaluating his symptoms and expects to find which of the following?

Bright erythema
Moist desquamation


• Stage two skin reactions from radiation therapy cause tender and bright erythema, moist desquamation, and moderate edema.

• Radiation therapy makes use of ionizing radiation to kill or limit the growth of cancer cells. Common side-effects of this procedure include skin itching, redness, burning, oozing, and sloughing.

• Radiation-induced skin reactions may be staged 0-4:

• 0: No change from baseline
• 1: Faint or dull erythema, epilation, dry desquamation, decreased sweating
• 2: Tender or bright erythema, moist desquamation, and moderate edema
• 3: Confluent and moist desquamation and pitting edema
• 4: Ulceration, hemorrhage, necrosis

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