What have cows and udder cream got to do with chemotherapy?

13 November 2014

Media Release


The recent social media phenomenon “Ice Challenge” raised more than $61,000 for the Cancer Society Central Districts Division.

The Ice Challenge was about raising awareness of the effects of chemotherapy on cancer patients, and we took this into account when deciding how best to use the donations we received.

Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society Centre Manager Judy Livingston says one of the projects the money will go towards is to purchase a special moisturiser called “Udderly Smooth” for chemotherapy patients.

Ms Livingston said the cream was originally invented in Ohio for use on dairy cows under harsh conditions, and has proven beneficial for dry and chapped skin on people worldwide and for people undergoing chemotherapy.

Oral and infusion chemotherapy drugs (epidermal growth factor receptor or EGFR’s) can affect the skin on the hands and feet. This side effect is known as: Hand-foot syndrome (HFS), or palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (PPE). PPE can result in tenderness, redness, tingling and peeling of the skin on the palms and soles. Sometimes the side effect is so severe that the patient has to discontinue use of the chemotherapy drug until the rash subsides.

The Cancer Society Central Districts Division will purchase the cream and donate the Udderly Smooth moisturiser to the Tairawhiti District Health board to give to chemotherapy patients suffering from PPE.

“We will keep you posted about further uses of the “Ice Challenge” donation money.  All of the Ice Challenge money donated will go towards funding special projects – no funds go towards any administration costs of the Cancer Society Central Districts Division,” said Judy Livingston

The Cancer Society is funded almost solely through donations, and is unique amongst the cancer charities in that we support any person with any type of cancer.