Botox + Fillers During Conventional Cancer Treatment
By Morag Currin
Due to advances in detection and treatment, approximately 70 percent of cancer patients are living more than five years after diagnosis. Research indicates that appearance worries are of great concern to cancer survivors impacting their quality of life.
Botox during cancer treatment (medical health professionals only)
Every cancer patient should discuss having Botox or fillers with their oncologist.
Neither Botox or fillers affect the immune system, so generally, that means they do not cause problems, and are safe for cancer patients to use, even while undergoing therapy. It is always risky to subject an immunosuppressed patient to a cosmetic/non-medically necessary procedure. Any injury to the skin can lead to infection in even the non-immunosuppressed. Therefore, I would advise patients to perhaps wait and postpone dermal fillers, until their white blood cell count return to normal levels.
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Exceptions to performing noninvasive procedures include patients who have depleted immune systems during treatments such as bone marrow transplants, as well as others who might be receiving cancer treatments, such as head and neck radiation but want facial aesthetic procedures.
- Surgery and radiation therapy – botox or fillers should not be a concern unless in areas where botox/fillers administered. Also, note any medications that would create a concern.
- Chemo/drug therapies – botox or fillers could be a concern if the person has low white blood cell counts (neutropenia); low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), skin sensitivity, is on blood thinners.
Some notes regarding Botox and/or fillers.
During some active chemotherapy regimens, cell multiplication may be slowed down; therefore, it is possible that fillers that build collagen might be less effective, as they depend on fibroblast activity. Sculptra is not advised at this time and if using Radiesse, it would work as an initial filler but might not do as well to build collagen. However, the hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, and Belatero should function as they would without chemotherapy.