Estheticians usually have good intentions when they attend our Oncology Esthetics Foundation Training, but we are finding that spa professionals who do not use this new found knowledge (for a number of reasons) for years or months suddenly get thrown off track when they do get a client who is dealing with active cancer or in recovery. We have received many requests over the years that show us that spa professionals need to continue to be ‘refreshed’ in this knowledge on an ongoing basis. Here is a good example of a situation that arose 2 years after the training….
CASE HISTORY: A spa client in her 70’s with pancreatic cancer is currently undergoing low dose chemotherapy 1x weekly for 3 weeks and off one week. Chemotherapy will be administered for 3 months. This person has just started chemotherapy and has completed cycle 1 & 2 (over last 2 weeks) and is scheduled for cycle 3 next week. Client wants her nails trimmed in week 4.
RESPONSE: Exact neutrophil nadirs will vary based on the client and their treatment factors. Spa professional needs to make contact with the client’s Oncologist to get the latest information about their white blood cell nadir values for both client safety and to stay within the scope of your practice.
Febrile neutropenia represents the condition demonstrating less favorable outcomes and predicting the probability of serious medical complications. Hence, administrating SPA treatments is not always about reading a number off a nadir chart. To SPA or not-to-SPA is a highly individualized decision based on the client and their personal reaction to chemotherapy treatment.
This client may not be able to get her nails trimmed so we advise that spa professionals have the Oncologist sign off that the client (his patient) can receiving this nail trimming service. For suggestions on how to modify this service in a safe manner, please contact us at email@example.com
Co-authored by Lynda Cesiro, R.Ph, LE, COE