The nurse is visiting with a patient who is diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease and is receiving radiation therapy. Which of the following patient statements is incorrect and requires additional teaching?

"To keep the radiation from burning my skin, I will use lotion."

Explanation

• Using lotion, creams, powders, and ointments may contribute to skin problems associated with radiation therapy. It is important to protect the skin from irritation, so the patient should only use lotions or creams prescribed by the physician.

• Radiation therapy can injure the cell membrane and possibly destroy or alter DNA so that the cells cannot reproduce. The effect is not limited to cancer cells only, but all exposed cells including skin and mucosal cells.

• All the other options are correct statements. Radiation therapy can affect any normal cells in the area the therapy is directed, including mucosa, skin, and hair. Loss of sweat glands, alopecia, and changes in taste can occur with radiation therapy.

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