Planning holiday abroad next year

Hi, I am planning to go to Spain next year for our holidays, I completed 6 chemos and 31 radiotherapies and had a lumpectomy 4 years ago.


I would like to know if I can sit in the sun with a bikini/swimsuit, wear nice summer tops or do I need to cover up. If I need to cover up is it just the area where the treatment was given? 


I am am very pale skinned (Scottish, need I say more!) so I would be planning to use factor 30, do I need to use a complete sun block or factor 50 on my treated breast area? 

I appreciate any advice you can give me.




Hello!  I would check in with your Breast Care Nurse or Oncologist as i have found everyone seems to have a different opinion on this one.  For example, I was told by one set of folks to stay covered up and yet another set (including my oncologist) said ‘no need for covering up, just be sensible and use the normal sun factor cream you would do - SPF30 5* UVA, etc.’.


If it helps, I had a lumpectomy in late March this year, had 20 rad sessions in May and then went to Central America on holiday for 2 weeks in mid July.  I have also been away for a week in the UK (beach based).  With the blessing of my oncologist, I did not hide away from the sun or either occasion, but neither did I lie in it for 7 hours a day.  In other words, I did what I would normall have done pre-cancer, i.e. SPF 30 as a min, avoid between 11 and 3, etc.


I was also lucky in that my skin didnt suffer too badly through rads and was pretty much all back to normal at least a couple of weeks prior to going away for the first time.  You know your skin and everyone will be different, hence it would be sensible to speak to the people that know you and what treatment you’ve had in order to work out the best approach.



Hi coffee girl

I’m going to Portugal this week. I’ve had a mastectomy, and underarm clearance, 6 chemo and 15 radiotherapy. I haven’t asked my oncologist about going abroad but I’m going to use my common sense and use 50 factor all over. I have had a reaction to radiotherapy because my skin is red where I’ve had it. But I have also bought a UV t-shirt to wear over my bikini. I got it in Mountain Warehouse for £4 in a sale on Saturday.

I think if if you’re careful and make sure you use sun cream you’ll be fine. Enjoy yourself, you deserve a nice holiday, like us all you have been through life changing stuff. All my love xx

Coffee girl I had radiotheraphy 3 years ago and have been abroad many items since, the first was 3 weeks after treatment ended, of course I went with the intention of keeping covered but found 50 factor and a bikini were all I needed, had no problems then or since, you book that holiday we deserve it after all we’ve been through! Xx 

Hi coffee girl

Been to Portugal for a week. Everything was fine I used 50 factor and put a t-shirt on over my bikini when I was in the pool and sitting in the sun. Had a relaxing time with no problems. Go book that holiday xx