Today’s cancer treatments, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, are powerful weapons that can help patients get back on their feet. But while scientific advances in the field have been exceptional, treatments can have significant side effects that impact the quality of life of someone going through them. One of the lesser-known side effects is skin-related problems. Radiotherapy, for example, can cause acute skin dryness, unsettling redness and even burns in the treated area, while chemotherapy drugs can cause rashes and increase skin sensitivity to sunlight. Other possible reactions include acne, discomfort due to dryness and itching. Given the access patients have to life-saving technology, you might think that side effects are the lesser of two evils—and that’s certainly true. But these skin reactions can sometimes be so painful that patients prefer to stop treating their cancer, knowing they are putting their lives at risk.

“During my breast cancer treatment, a nurse recommended Lipikar cream by La Roche-Posay after I told her about my skin problems,” recalls Lolitta Dandoy, a journalist, fashion columnist, teacher and cancer survivor who has teamed up with La Roche-Posay to raise awareness on the issue. “I was really suffering. The entire area of my left breast—up to my collarbone—was red and raw. I wish I’d been informed earlier about side effects so that I could have been prepared for them and got what I needed to take care of myself. With all that we go through, it seems we place less importance on the side effects on the skin, but they have a huge impact on our well-being, which is already so impacted. At a time when all we want is a little respite, sometimes this can feel like the final straw.”


Appropriate and specialized care is crucial to overcoming these reactions and restoring the skin’s well-being during and after cancer treatment. Dermatologists and oncologists play a vital role in this mission. They guide patients and recommend skincare routines and products designed to meet their needs. Some of these products are essential to maintaining healthy skin and ensuring patient comfort, such as gentle cleansers, hydrating creams, serums and sun protection. Skincare that’s specially formulated for cancer patients will help provide relief, which promotes healing and improves overall quality of life during and after treatment.

La Roche-Posay’s goal is to make these products available to as many people as possible. The renowned French skincare brand has an ongoing commitment to both cancer patients’ overall well-being and the skincare formulas it develops. The company is involved in multiple ways through work with various organizations, committees, experts and associations. For example, La Roche-Posay set up the Canadian Skin Management in Oncology group to address the specific needs of Canadians with cancer. The company has also made efforts in research and development and works closely with oncologists and dermatologists to ensure that its products meet the unique challenges faced by cancer patients as well as provide effective, gentle and soothing care.

Lipikar Syndet AP+ Cleansing Cream

Price: $22.95


Lipikar Balm AP+M

Price: $33.95


Cicaplast Balm B5 Soothing Balm

Price: $24.50