Swimming during rads


Just wondering if anyone has been able to continue swimming during rads. My radiographer said best not to cos the chlorine would aggravate the skin but I’m wondering if a thick layer of aqueous cream would provide a barrier. I’ve had 1/25 so far - two sessions cancelled last week because the machine was broken.
Swimming feels good for flexibility and lymphoedema in my arm and, I like it! So hoping for good news.
Thanks for reading

I was advised against swimming when I had my rads. My skin was okay initially but it became quite aggrivated towards the end of my rads (15 in total). It worsened considerably after the rads actually finished and was extremely infammed,very sore, very uncomfortable. I personally wouldn’t risk anything which might increase the risk of worsening any reaction.

I understand you not wishing to miss your swimming but am not sure that aqueous cream would provide a sufficient barrier. Sorry not to be more encouraging but I would recommend following the medical advise.

Sending you best wishes
L x


I had my 14/15th on Friday and I went away this weekend to somewhere with a pool. Rads people said as my skin was holding out well I could pop in for a brief dip, long as I washed well with aqueous cream afterwards. I only went in for about 15mins, hadn’t swam since before mastectomy and chemo so was a little excited!

Em x

First i was told not to swim, then when I finished i asked how long till i could swim again and they said, You can swim anytime you want to … So i suppose it really depends how your skin is holding up; after four weeks rads and now a week post, mine is very red but intact. Also how you feel your immune system is doing, because what’s worse, heavy chlorine on your skin (and all that shampoo to get it out of your hair, flowing down over your delicate skin again) or other people’s germs?

If you are swimming i’d suggest maybe not aqueous because it washes off so easily, could this be the time to use more of a barrier cream? Can you ask the breast care nurse, or maybe ring the nurses here in the morning?

I was told very firmly no swimming during rads :frowning: and I am now half way through. I miss it so much as I swam just about daily once my mastectomy healed enough. My arm is really suffering, partly from the radiation I think, and partly because it really misses the gently exercise it got while swimming.

me too i was told not to swim and to wait til my post rads check before swimming.

Might be a stupid idea but you can swim in the sea - cold but at least no chlorine !

I was told it was OK to swim until my skin started to get irritated by the rads, just be careful to wash well afterwards. As it turned out I never had any skin problems from the rads, so never stopped swimming.

I was also told not to swim during rads, and then to wait for several weeks afterwards. I was keen to get moving, but I did wait.

I’m another who was told no swimming during rads & wait till any skin reaction is better afterwards. My skin remained intact on rads (20 + 5 boost) but I did wait a couple of weeks after I’d finished.

i went away for a weekend during my rads and was told i could swim as long as i washed well straight afterwards. i did this and was fine!
love debs xx

Thanks soooo much to all who’ve responded. How lovely to benefit from all this expert experience. I must admit I’ve been following these forums and a lot of your ups and downs since I started chemo way back in November but been a bit slow off the mark at joining in! I’ve always been amazed at how supportive people are here.
… still haven’t decided what to do though. Does anyone else feel fed up with being good (as in doing what we’re told) all the time?
thanks and love to all
k xxx

Yep, i hate being good and feel so cooped up by all the should and shouldn’t. Got to get to appointments on time. got to remember to take tablets. Got to put cream on. Don’t forget life goes on, so we still need to do the washing, the shopping, pay the bills, walk the dog etc. There’s times you want to scream STOP! I need a break!

So maybe try it if you really want to, and what’s the worst that will happen? perhaps you will peel YUK or itch like hell OWW or maybe just feel fine and relaxed and pleased at least your legs work fine and you are exercising.

It’s the grown-up thing of, I take my decision and I live by it. You’ve seen that not all radiographers say the same, so it must be a grey area. Although your radiographer has seen your skin, and has a better chance of guessing how it will cope than any of us can have. Whatever you decide, i hope you enjoy it!