Summer Safety Precautions for Cancer Patients #1

When undergoing cancer treatment, you make a lot of adjustments to your lifestyle. During the peak of the heat, you may need to learn some summer safety precautions as well, depending on how treatment is affecting you. Here are some common concerns to be extra diligent about during the warmer months.


Your Skin May Be More Sensitive to the Sun

According to the American Cancer Society, radiation treatment can cause your skin to burn more easily. Even during chemotherapy, you want to avoid sun exposure, as your skin may be more susceptible to damage. You first want to protect your bald head by wearing a solid (not straw) wide-brimmed hat at all times outdoors to protect your delicate scalp, ears and neck. Keep the hat where you keep your shoes.


The American Academy of Dermatology advises you apply a shot-glass sized amount (equal to one ounce) of broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to your entire body 15 minutes before going in the sun and every two hours after. Get a smaller bottle to attach to your key ring so you always have some on you. When applying, pay extra attention to healing scars, as sun exposure can cause them to enlarge and discolor. Completely cover those sensitive areas to avoid further damage.


By Naomi Mannino,