Anyone told never to sunbathe again!?

When I finished chemo in April 07, the onc nurse said they tell patients they should never sunbathe again, the implication being that we are more likely to get skin cancer by having had another form of cancer.
I am just back from the sun and didn’t sit directly in it, stayed under a parasol etc. I did get a tan though ( another thing to feel guilty about!)

Has anyone else been given advice on this?

thats a pretty major piece of advice ! I was only told to keep the radiated area out of the sun for a year as it can be quite sensitive. I am seeing my oncologist on Tuesday so will remember to ask him.

Cally x

I went sunbathing in June after finishing treatment in April. I found the radiated bits were already tanned and whilst other areas got sunburnt, the radiated breast didn’t. since then I have ignored their advice. I like being tanned even if I do get skin cancer


on my lmyphoedema training they said to keep out of the sun and off the beach in hot countries except for before 11.00 a.m and after 7.00 p.m.

…unless it’s raining … ???

love FB xx

Well I have never heard that one before. I would check this out with your onc…seems over the top to me.

have to say i didn’t ask “why?” …

obviously it could be to do with skin cancer but presumably (only guessing) it could be to do with burning the arm or even the fact that it having to make the effort to go brown produces by-products which have to drain away …???

only guessing … I can definitely tell you that that was the advice - just not sure why … mind you it’s very hot here - may be quite different in the UK … or may be different if it’s a quick holiday as opposed to living in the hot sun … I find that this information goes from the sublime to the ridiculous - not enough and then swamped!

hopefully someone else might know ???
love FB xxx

ps every time I see your name I think of “naughty nana margaret!” - just not sure what sort of naughty …! … sorry not tryinng to chat you up !!! (despite radical hair cut ) it’s just that since I read that it stuck and I’m not sure whether to immagine a granny who likes blasting footballs through greenhouses or knocking doors and running away … or someone floating round in a negligee and flufy pink slippers reading a Barbara Cartland novel - I’m sure it’s neither but for some reason it gets my brain going everytime I see your name now!

I have to say (dont want to upset any nurses on here) BUT we hear just about every day on here some very bizare comments from BCN !

Hi All

I think that Katie and Fizbiz are both right and that these are both reasons why they tell people to avoid the sun in future.

As I understand it, sunlight is just another form of radiotherapy and parts of your body will have had just about all they can take in your lifetime (in a very short space of time) when you were irradiated during treatment; hence the potential for problems such as skin cancer to arise.

The second is the risk of developing or worsening, lymphoedema. If you get hot your body’s cooling mechanism tries to cool you and one way it does this is to open the capillaries close to the skin (which are usually closed). This means more fluid getting into the tissue spaces and more work for a vulnerable lymphatic system to try to cope with.

It’s a drag, ain’t it? I love the sun.



I was told - no sun on the radiated bits this year simply because they would burn more easily having been radiated, but having had a mastectomy I wasn’t planning on going topless :slight_smile:

Also no sunbathing of affected arm EVER as a precaution against lymphoedema, the implication being that remaining lymph nodes in the arm would have more work to do if the skin was sun burnt - but no suggestions of skin cancer.

I’ve got into fake tans.

At the risk of sounding like an excerpt from the Fast Show; ‘This year I have been mostly using Johnson’s Holiday Skin’.


I am off to Turkey in a few days and have been told not to get the sun on right boob or arm. I’ve bought lots of long sleeve kaftans and factor 50 cream [was then told could have got this on prescription], large brim hat and small fold up umbrella to carry with me for shade. I am abit worried cos I got an infection a couple of weeks ago so am taking AB’s with me just in case. I was fed up that I would be the only one sitting in the shade but have been told its so hot over there we will probs all be under the parasols LOL!

Understand I need to move the arm about during the flight so cabin crewe might think I am constantly calling them if arm keeps going up in the air.

Still plan to have a great time no matter what


PS also understand I can’t have a Turkish bath so will have to stick to the pool I guess

I’m taking the attitude that I’ll need to cover my arms and chest so will be wearing nice cotton style shirts that have a high spf factor.

That does not stop me having nice tanned legs though :wink:

Seriously thought there are some lovely self tanning creams that impart a little colour each time you use them and have a high spf factor so you can sit in the sun and feel the lovely heat and have a tan… it’s just not a natural tan that’s all.

I dread to think what’s in some of them though.

Just done a bit of googling and it seems there’s quite a few organic self tans out there now so some would be suitable for using on skin that’s sensitive and I would have thought even if you have lymphoedema… Green People do one.

Found something that looks good… google Fake Bake.

a friend at work uses Fake Bake - she bought the spray thingy to do it at home… have to say it looks very natural.

thanks lilac… or will we be changing your name to goldenblushes :wink:

Thanks girls, it is so interesting to hear what advice people are given - it really varies! I

t was so hot in Portugal that you couldnt really sit out in it and the shade was fine, so I did’nt sit out but I do intend to sit out in lower temperatures. I love the feeling of the warmth on my bones, and while fake tan is perfect for home, it doesnt give that lovely glow!

I think its over the top advice too, as does my Dad who is a retired childrens surgeon and knows a thing or two!

I only had a lumpectomy and sbn so luckily lymphodema not an issue.