Radiotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of cases who had breast conserving surgery. Breast cancer patients who receive radiotherapy develop acute skin complications which are known as radiation dermatitis (RD) during radiotherapy or shortly after it. Radiation dermatitis is one of the most common side effects. It affects approximately 95% of patients. This complication has a profound effect on patients' quality of life due to pain and discomfort and can reduce tolerance to treatment and in some cases discontinuation or delay of radiotherapy. This can effect disease control in the long term. So, prevention and treatment of RD is important for health care providers and it is essential to produce effective health products to prevent and treat this disease. Henna (
This was a prospective double-blind clinical study which contained 43 breast cancer patients aged 18-75 years who had breast-conserving surgery and were going to receive radiotherapy. They were randomly allocated into two groups, those who received the topical HP or those who received placebo, twice daily for six weeks, from the first day of treatment. Grade of dermatitis was evaluated weekly based on RTOG grading system.
The present study showed that HP could reduce the severity of RD. The use of HP delayed the onset of grade 2 RD for two weeks, also, it delayed the onset of grade 3 RD for one week compared to the placebo group. At the end of the sixth week, in the patients who received the HP, the grade 2 RD (20% vs. 56.52%) as well as grade 3 RD (10% vs. 26.09%) significantly decreased (p=0.004).
Topical henna cream is an inexpensive and accessible herbal medicine that can be effective in preventing and reducing the severity of RD in patients with breast cancer.
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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.