Swimming during radiotherapy

I went for my rads planning yesterday and was given an info sheet which said I was allowed to swim during radiotherapy. I thought this was a big no-no?? I LOVE my swimming but avoided it during chemo and didn’t want to renew my membership until I could start going regularly again. However, will renew my membership pronto if I can swim during rads!!

Did anyone else swim? Did you have any problems?

Thank yoooou.

Hi Sandytoes ,i start my radiotherapy on nov 21 and the first thing i got told was that swimming was an absolute no while having them .I didnt swim through chemo either and im really surprised that at your planning app they said you could. I think different people have different beliefs ,its the same with oncs . Hope all goes well xx

I was told swimming was not allowed too. And I wouldn’t have wanted to towards the end, or for quite a while after my rads finished due to the raw skin. I’d check with your BCN perhaps but seems unlikely that chlorine etc would be good on raw burnt skin…ouch.

Maybe you can get some swimming in before you start?

Al x

Hi Sandytoes
I’m just coming to the end of my 2nd week of rads ( have 5 to do) and i was also told no swimming, when i asked why was told it was due to skin soreness, chlorine irriates the skin etc and the rubbing of the swimming costume.


I asked if I could swim during rads and was told no. When I had the rads I realised that it would have been risky to go swimming as my skin was very sore and chlorine wouldn’t have helped the situation. I didn’t go swimming until about 3 weeks after finishing when my skin was getting back to normal.

I got told yes, but need to shower when I get out to make sure all the chlorine was rinsed off. Im restarting rads and have another planning session booked for 24th so will double check. It does make sense that if you have any break in the skin you shouldnt go swimming to avoid infection



I too had a leaflet saying it was fine to swim & when i checked with Rads team they said perfectly fine as long as no broken skin or “sore” area & again to wash off chlorine after which i would normally do anyway.


Did you actually go swimming though? I’m so tempted as have nothing to do for the rest of the day when not at rads so would be great if I could go for a swim every day!

My info booklet says: “It is ok to go swimming. Be aware that the chemicals in the pool may add to the drying effect on your skin. Make sure you shower well and moisturise the skin with the creams previously recommended”.

I too, was told no swimming during and for about 2 weeks after the end of radiotherapy. My skin was fine. Four weeks after the rads had finished, I had swum 3 times during one week, and hey presto, my skin became itchy and red with tiny raised spots. It was slap bang in the area that had been treated.
It is still slightly itchy now and my treatment finished on the 17th september! Just unlucky I guess.

I only had 2 out of 20 so dont know what it would have been like - sorry not very helpful I know


Hi all,

Just had my radiotherapy planning this morning, due to start on 1st Dec after a well deserved holiday. I was given a do’s and don’ts fact sheet and on it was ‘No swimming in pools’ due to the irritation on the skin of chlorine, the sea was fine. Glad I am away before treatment starts.

I swam all through rads. No problems.

Interesting to hear the differing advice. I had my treatment in Bangkok and swam almost daily throughout chemo - my goodness it kept me going psychologically. I could swim a kilometre when I could hardly stand because my legs were so weak.

When I had my rads consult I asked about swimming and I was also given a firm “No”. I was gutted but my skin was incredibly sensitive from chemo and then of course burnt with the rads.

Now I am back to swimming daily, skin is still a bit sensitive (yes, even over a year after treatment) and not helped by a bout of shingles on the treatment area.
Good luck
P :slight_smile:

I’m half way through and was really upset to be told no swimming at my first appointment. My skin has been ok so far and now I wish I’d been for a swim!

Hi Sandytoes,

yes i did swim throughout but have to add that i was very lucky as i had no reaction to rads or boosters at all, not even slightly pink.


Another one who was told to avoid swimming during rads but then again I had pretty bad burn by the end so it wouldn’t have been a good idea anyway. I think a lot depends on where you get treatment - the advice differs so much!