Do we need to avoid anything?

Hi Gang

Just got back from my 3rd radiotherapy! I wanted to ask if there was anything that must be avoided during rads. I am going for a pamper day with a group of friends on Sunday and suddenly didn’t dare ask, incase I was forbidden from doing anything. Childish I know! Is there any problem with swimming? (Apart from the covering coming off some of my ‘blue artwork!’) as my wound has healed now. Did I also read somewhere that we are supposed to avoid jacuzzis, saunas etc due to risk of lymphodema following surgery or have I used imagined that?It hasn’t stopped my lovely long soaks in a hot bath and surely hot tubs etc aren’t too different.

I suppose I will have to mention having had surgery before any of my treatments - although the scar might be a giveaway!

Just wondering if any of you have been asked to avoid anything, I’ve only been asked to avoid wearing a too tight bra (that was today after I arrived with indentations in my breast!)

Hope you are all enduring your zapping!
Here’s to the weekend - free of hospitals!!!

Take care all

Nicky xx

Hi Nicky

Breast Cancer Care publishes a factsheet on the subject of complementary therapies which you may find of help when deciding on the types of treatments, etc you might like to treat yourself to on your pamper day. I hope you find this useful.

It can be either downloaded or ordered through the website.

Kind regards

Breast Cancer Care

Hi Nicky

I had my third zap today too. Soooo much looking forward to the weekend!

They did tell me to avoid swimming, because of the chlorine drying the area out more. As for the other things on your pamper day I don’t know, sorry.

They also have told me to avoid tight fitting clothes, and personally (because I have big boob and heavy prosthesis), I tend to wear my dressing gown when I am in the house and avoid my bra completely.

Have a lovely weekend, I’m off to the pictures


Hi Nicky,

I was told that swimming is ok as long as you wash off the chlorine as soon as you are out of the pool.

I am not allowed to shave, wax or use hair remover cream on my underarm, also no deoderant!

So, I have my rads with one hairy, undeoderised armpit and one smooth, shaved armpit- lovely!

Kat x

Thanks for your replies

I will go and enjoy my day without any worries! (I’ve only had 3 zaps so the area isn’t sore yet so will have a swim and wash the chlorine off quickly!) Like you Kat one armpit will be OK exposed in a swimming costume - but the other is less appealing! with hair and a still angry looking scar running along underneath it. My main problem is they’ve drawn all over my chest with blue pen and covered it will clear plasters. I have to decide to cover the area with a huge skin coloured plaster or face the stares!

I’m daring to go without wig or hat for the first time as well!

Have a good weekend all


Hey Nicky,

Been watching this thread as Im going to do a day somewhere! Was wondering about do’s and donts though, hope you have a wonderful break! Enjoy!

Pauline x


I was told to only use simple soap as other soaps apparently can contain zinc which interupts the radiotherapy


you can also use PITROK stick deodorant under affected arm.


Hi Thanks for your replies

Had a fantastic day at the spa. Had booked for a back treatment and facial. The radiotherapy didn’t cause any concerns with staff there, but my recent lymph node removal did! I couldn’t have any treatments that involved massage. The staff were brilliant and compensated I couldn’t have massage as part of the back treatment, so the girl rubbed all the stuff gently which felt wonderful, then massaged my legs instead.

Then during the facial, she wasn’t able to massage below the chin, so instead of the neck massage I had a longer head massage - that was to die for! If your surgery was more than 6 months ago, you can have a massage, but at this spa they wouldn’t risk it before then.

So if any of you have the chance I thoroughly recommend a day being pampered with good friends I real ego boost! and it’s nice people doing nice things to you body for a change! in nice surroundings. perhaps the hospital wards should learn something from the spas! adapt and have the soft mood lighting and candles and the wonderful aromas and music.

Take care all



Thats a shame regarding the massage… Ive been told that on a couple of occasions but when I actually looked into it found its not a problem at all, if you look at the BCCs alternative therapies booklet it says you can have massage! My neck and back are so stiff and sore that Im desperate for a back massage! Think I might take along the booklet with me next time to show the staff!

Glad you enjoyed it though! Where did you go?

Pauline x

Hi Ladies
New to posting but have been reading the threads since dx on 4/6. Just some info that may help. I had first chemo on 8/8 and had relaxing hols booked complete with complimentary therapies. I had booked indian head massage and reflexology. (Know you are ahead of the the chemo),however when I tried to confirm the time for the treatments I mentioned the chemo as it was only fair. I was then asked if I had a letter from my BCN or ONC to say that they would allow the treatment. When I spoke to my BCN it would appear pretty standard and she was more than happy to send me a letter of consent. Speaking to the therapist it is only a matter of covering their backs, they know that complimentary theps help they just want the security of knowing that there will be no come back. (didnt have the indian head massage because hair was falling big style!!) So enjoy the treatments certain massage helps but get a letter of confirmation first. Think reflexolgy and rehki ok for rads. Pauline was right glad you enjoyed it and where did you go.
Missi x

Hey Missi,

So glad you posted that as I was sure it was okay to have massages but have been told twice now that they might upset my lymph! Been told by masseur friend (cant do me any more though as she has back problem of her own!) that you have to be pretty bl**dy good to affect lymph and be doing some very localised and deep stuff! I am going to get a letter off my onc tomorrow so that next time I go I’ll be covered - got to do something about my back which Ive suffered from on and off for years.

Take care

Pauline x

Hi - I’m confused re: the massage. I have had whole body aromatherapy massages about every 2 - 3 weeks to help methrough my chemo. I started 2 weeks after surgery (op 2/3/07)with the oncs. and surgeons blessing. I had a WLE and 20 nodes removed (16 affected so just as well)

We seem to get so many different stories re what is ‘good’/bad for you it is hard to decide what to follow. I tend to work on the if it makes me feel better and does no obvious harm go for it principle now. Will check with the hospital if in any doubt.

Glad you had a good weekend thinking of doing the same once I finally get through this lot.

Take care and good luck for the future - Swanie

Thanks Nicky -

I will continue to get massaged. I’m looking forward to starting swimming - have a hickman line in at the moment so i can’t go. Glad to hear it is possible once rads start (10/10/07). Aren’t we a bunch of rebels!!!

Can’t wait to get this all over with
love to you all Swanie

Been told by a masseur friend that massage is really good for scar area - prevents the build up of scar tissue and prevents puckering etc. Glad I can go for a swim now though - didn’t think about that. Told by hospital not to soak radded bits in a hot bath - encourages a reaction which can lead to blistering etc. I’ve just finished my rads, and have had no probs other than a small area where the elastic of my bra has rubbed skin red.