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My Skin Journey during the Cancer Treatment

Dr Juliana has more than 10 years of experience in Family Medicine, Aesthetic Medicine and Women’s Health. Being a strong advocate of disease prevention and healthy lifestyle, she did belly dancing on a weekly basis, maintained a healthy diet and had no family history of cancer amongst her immediate family. Yet, at the young age of 38 when she was new to motherhood, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

What caused these changes

The damage to the skin is mainly a result of the side effects of the chemotherapy drugs and the radiation energy. 

Since my diagnosis, I have met some wonderful cancer survivors who consulted me for advice on aesthetic treatment. Some of them developed severe acne along with extreme dryness which can be quite challenging both physically and mentally. However, having been through it myself, I do believe it is important to not rush into any treatment but focus on giving our bodies and skin a chance to recover through sufficient rest, healthy dieting and regular exercise. 

At the end of the day, I feel that keeping positive helps to speed up the healing process. To contribute to this feeling of positivity,  it is my belief to address both the physical and the emotional stage – you feel good, you look good. 

Choosing to go back to work one week after my radiotherapy had ended gave me the regularity I needed in my new life. I feel that spending time listening to my new friends about their unique journeys and skin changes as a result of their treatment helped me too in my emotional recovery from cancer. In  a way they were also my saviours.

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The Diagnosis: There are a lot of articles documenting the changes to the body when a person goes through their cancer treatment. However, very little attention has been placed on the possible treatments they can do to prepare their skin against the battle ahead as well as to recover thereafter.

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Celebrate Life!

My brush with cancer has taught me to live everyday to the fullest and be a better version of myself. My relationship with my husband has grown from strength to strength and I have learnt to focus on the important things in life. I plan to heal well so that I can move on to family planning which is another challenge for young cancer patients like myself. Although we already feel very blessed with our son, another child would definitely be something amazing for us to look forward to.

It is still early for me as I am fresh off my active treatment with uncertainty ahead. But I know that even years after this ordeal has passed, my dedication to contribute to other cancer survivors like myself will continue to be a part of who I am. Life after treatment has brought me new friends who are fellow cancer survivors and it’s an amazing sisterhood that will bind us for life.

My Personal Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment plans may differ from person to person as it depends on the staging and type of cancer they have. My breast cancer was hormone receptor negative and HER 2 receptor positive for which I was advised to undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy and Herceptin treatment. While my cancer diagnosis essentially put my baby number 2 plans on the backburner, I was determined to fight my cancer as my priority.

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Changes to my Body

I researched a lot into the body changes I was likely to experience during chemo and prepared the best I could for it. I anticipated dry and itchy skin, dry mouth and ulcers, nail changes, hair loss, nausea and tiredness.

I found that regular hydration was an important step to control the side effects to my skin and was a strong believer in prevention. Despite the gruelling side effects of chemotherapy I would still religiously apply my skin, nail and oral care products on a daily basis  to minimize side effects.

Hair loss was inevitable for the type of chemotherapy drug that was selected for me and despite the use of a cold cap I still lost about 70% of my hair. I had cut my usually long hair to a short bob prior to starting treatment but eventually had my head shaved after my second cycle as the hair loss was too emotionally challenging. I learned to embrace my new shaven look and took to wearing headscarves when out of the house. It was such a relief and an immense feeling of emancipation when 4-5 months after ending chemo I finally grew enough hair to leave the house without a head cover! 

Nausea and tiredness were very emotionally draining on me and despite my usual positive disposition it did manage to push me into a period of sadness during my chemo cycles. I tried to overcome this by taking daily walks and planning little things to look forward to. As challenging as chemotherapy was, I persevered through it as best I could. My body and mind slowly but surely recovered leaps and bounds after the treatment had ended.

Aesthetic Treatments that can be given during cancer treatment

Main considerations of cancer patients on Aesthetic Treatments

  • Low immunity status
  • Increased sensitivity of skin

As a trained family physician and an aesthetic doctor, I was in control of both my environment and treatment regime. For my skin, I was able to alter treatment regimes to suit the dryness and increased sensitivity of my skin. I chose to do hydrafacial to help with my dry and dull skin during my “good weeks” of chemotherapy in a regularly sanitised room dedicated for my treatment to address my low immunity.

Once my chemotherapy sessions had ended, I waited a few weeks before embarking on laser and injectable skin treatments. I chose the product Rejuran Healer to help with the healing of my skin. It did wonders to breathe life into my otherwise dull and damaged skin. 

About 6 to 8 weeks post treatment, I noticed that my skin became less dry and my skin colour tone was finally turning healthy-looking.

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    Fusion Medical @ Wheelock

    501 Orchard Rd #04-11, Singapore 238880

    Mon-Fri :8:30am – 5:30pm

    Sat :8:30am – 1:00pm

    Sun / PH :Closed

    Fusion Medical @ Fusionopolis

    1 Fusionopolis Link, #01-05 Nexus
    @ One-North , Singapore 138542

    Mon-Fri :8:30am – 5:30pm

    Sat/Sun / PH :Closed

    About Fusion Medical

    Fusion Medical was set up in the year 2015. Our founders, being passionate about offering one-stop quality healthcare services at affordable rates, decided to set up the first Executive Medical Centre in One-North. This centre is equipped with diagnostic and imaging equipment to provide convenience to our patients. Diagnostic and imaging equipment include X-Ray, Ultrasound, ECG treadmill, Spirometry, Tonometry, Mammogram, Electrocardiogram, Audiometry Tests and Bone Densitometry.

    Why Choose Fusion Medical

    We Make Things Easy For You

    Our clinics are centrally located in Wheelock Place and Fusionopolis, giving you easy access to quality healthcare services whenever you need it. Appointments are easy, too. Request an appointment online or call us.

    Female Doctors Who Understand You

    Our female doctors offer a broad range of screening and medical services, personalised just for you. Doctor-patient relationships can last a lifetime, and we believe that it is important to have a doctor who truly understands you. We strive to do the best we can to make you feel comfortable.

    Fully Equipped Clinics

    We are committed to meeting your specific needs at our clinic. Our clinics are fully equipped with diagnostic and imaging equipment to provide one-stop convenience for you.

    • Dr Juliana Latif

      After graduating from Guys’, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine in the United Kingdom, Dr Juliana went on to complete her Graduate Diploma in Family medicine at the National University of Singapore. She is currently pursuing her diploma in Occupational Medicine.

      Qualifications

      • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Kings’ College London, UK
      • Graduate Diploma in Family Medicine, National University of Singapore
      • Master of Science in Non-surgical Facial Aesthetics, Anglia Ruskin University, UK
      • Diplomate in Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine, American Board of Anti-aging & Regenerative medicine
      • Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine, American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
      • Korean Thread Lifting Master Course, American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
      • Certificate in competence in Skin Rejuvenation (Fractional Lasers), Chemical peels, Filler injection, Botulinum toxin injection, Laser for treating skin pigmentation and Assisted lasers or intense pulsed light for hair removal awarded by the Aesthetic Dermatology Educational Group, Singapore
      • Certificate of Vaginal Rejuvenation treatment, The American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
      • Certificate of Bioidentical hormonal replacement, Marion Gluck Academy, United Kingdom
    GET STARTED

    Request An Appointment

    Got questions? Fill up this form and our clinic staff will revert as soon as possible.

      Visit Us

      Start your skin health restoration journey with us today!

      Fusion Medical @ Wheelock

      501 Orchard Rd #04-11, Singapore 238880

      Mon-Fri :8:30am – 5:30pm

      Sat :8:30am – 1:00pm

      Sun / PH :Closed

      Fusion Medical @ Fusionopolis

      1 Fusionopolis Link, #01-05 Nexus
      @ One-North , Singapore 138542

      Mon-Fri :8:30am – 5:30pm

      Sat/Sun / PH :Closed

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