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How gel made from VIAGRA relieves painful blisters in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy

A gel made from the anti-impotence drug Viagra (sildenafil) can relieve one of the most important side effects for cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Up to 85 percent of those who have radiotherapy experience painful, red or blistering skin around the treated area.

The longer the treatment lasts, the worse it can be because the same skin is exposed to radiation every day for up to two months.

But now scientists have developed a water-based gel containing 5 percent sildenafil, which, according to initial research, helps to protect and treat this damage.

A gel made from the anti-impotence drug Viagra (sildenafil) can relieve one of the most important side effects for cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy

A gel made from the anti-impotence drug Viagra (sildenafil) can relieve one of the most important side effects for cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy

In animal experiments, radiation wounds healed faster with the gel than without.

Scientists say the drug helps by activating the release of nitric oxide, a chemical known to play a vital role in wound healing by stimulating the flow of oxygenated blood to the damaged area.

It does this in much the same way that it helps with impotence – by widening small blood vessels so that more blood can reach the affected region.

All wounds, burns and sores need a good oxygen supply to heal.

About half of all cancer patients have included some form of radiotherapy in their treatment plan.

In some cases, it is given to reduce a tumor before surgery. In other cases, it is used afterwards to try to kill all remaining cancer cells.

It is often effective, but can cause painful blistering of the skin, because radiotherapy, as well as the destruction of cancer cells, causes biochemical changes in healthy skin cells, leading to inflammation and breakdown.

Patients are advised to wash with unscented soap, pat the skin dry instead of rubbing, use a moisturizer on the area and wear loose clothing to reduce irritation.

Up to 85 percent of those who have radiotherapy experience painful, red or blistering skin around the treated area

Up to 85 percent of those who have radiotherapy experience painful, red or blistering skin around the treated area

Up to 85 percent of those who have radiotherapy experience painful, red or blistering skin around the treated area

Bandages are sometimes used in between to protect the area against daily damage, and some patients receive steroid medication to dampen any inflammation.

But even with such measures, it is estimated that over 100,000 people in England alone experience skin problems due to radiotherapy.

A team of scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences in New Delhi, India, decided to develop a Viagra-like gel because previous studies had shown that wounds in patients who had received the drug for erectile dysfunction seemed to heal more quickly .

The team devised a rubbing gel that was 95 percent water and 5 percent sildenafil.

In a study with rats, scientists applied it daily for nearly a month after treatment with radiotherapy.

The results, published in December in the Burns magazine, showed that skin damage was reduced by more than 80 percent and that wound contraction – the rate at which blisters and ulcers healed – increased by a similar amount.

Meanwhile, the tensile strength – a measure of how strong the damaged skin is – was 45 percent higher in the sildenafil group than in rats that were not treated with the new gel.

Dr. Tom Roques, spokesperson for the Royal College of Radiologists, said that most NHS cancer patients experience only mild to moderate skin damage from radiotherapy.

He said: “Much more research is needed before we know if this gel can be useful for people who have radiotherapy.”

TThe active drug in Viagra, sildenafil, can increase fertility rates in older women who have had problems getting pregnant with IVF. Doctors used it as a vaginal suppository in a small trial with 66 women aged 38 years and older who had previously had two failed IVF attempts.

After another IVF round, those who received sildenafil were twice as likely to become pregnant as those who received a placebo. Sildenafil is thought to help improve blood flow to the uterus. The researchers at the University of Tehran have recommended carrying out larger tests.

SECRETS OF AN A-LIST BODY

How to get the enviable physique of the stars. This week: the bottom of Salma Hayek

Salma was recently depicted with a golden dress showing off her grooming figure.

How to get the enviable physique of the stars. This week: the bottom of Salma Hayek

The actress, 53, said: “Some people have the discipline to practice in the morning, but I have not developed that. “

She likes to walk with her dogs and yoga. “Even if you brush your teeth, you work on the muscles,” she said.

WHAT TO TRY: The squat cup focuses on your gluteal muscles and helps shape your buttocks.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a kettlebell or weight on your chest.

Breathe in while bending your knees and pushing your hips back, as if you were sitting, in a squat position.

Try to keep your hips at the same height with your knees (but don’t force it) while keeping the weight on your chest. Exhale while pushing on your heels to stand upright.

Do 15 repetitions and three sets.

BREATH DOCTOR

What is your breath trying to tell you? This week: a fruity, sweet scent

One of the significant signs of type 2 diabetes is a vague smell of pear drops in the breath, says Dr. Dushyant Sharma, a diabetologist consultant at Royal Liverpool Hospital.

TRY THIS

Probio7 Intiflor capsules (£ 15.99 for 15 capsules, amazon.co.uk) contain cranberry extract, vitamin C and two strains of ‘good’ bacteria that are said to promote a healthy urinary tract.

“This is due to a lack of insulin – which means that the body cannot use sugar for energy and that’s why the fat is starting to break down,” he explains.

“Waste products called ketones build up and the sweet, pear-like odor comes from the chemicals in these ketones.”

According to the Diabetes UK charity, 3.8 million people in the UK are diagnosed with diabetes, 90 percent of whom have type 2.

“So if you’re worried about a sweet-smelling breath, you should consult a doctor immediately,” Dr. Sharma.

According to the Diabetes UK charity, 3.8 million people live in the UK with a diagnosis of diabetes, of which 90 percent have type 2

According to the Diabetes UK charity, 3.8 million people live in the UK with a diagnosis of diabetes, of which 90 percent have type 2

According to the Diabetes UK charity, 3.8 million people live in the UK with a diagnosis of diabetes, of which 90 percent have type 2

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