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What Cancer Patients Need to Know About Sun Exposure

man outside

Author: Express Specialty Pharmacy
Date: June 24th, 2020

Fax: 833-797-9792
Phone Number: 1-618-233-0100

Did you know:

  1. Most Cancer Treatment, including medication and radiation therapy, increase your sensitivity to the sun.
  2. Skin Cancer rates are higher in survivors.
  3. UV rays can get through to the ground, even on a cloudy day.
  4. UV rays bounce off surfaces such as water and snow.
  5. According to the American Cancer Society: “Ozone in the upper atmosphere filters some UV radiation.”

Before, during, and after treatment:

  1. Avoid outside activities between 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, that’s when the UV rays are at their strongest.
  2. Avoid sun exposure, but if the sun is unavoidable, wear an SPF 30 and above and reapply every two hours. Don’t forget the small spots such as ears, eyelids, feet, and lips.
  3. Wear lip balm with SPF 15 and above before going out. The bottom lip is a common cancer spot.
  4. Wear a large hat that covers all of your head and your neck.
  5. Wear shades that protect your eyes
  6. According to the American Cancer Society, it is best to avoid the sun during cancer treatment and for a while after the therapy. Skin related side effects of cancer treatment may include dryness, redness, itchiness, or sores, making your skin more sensitive to the harmful effect of sunlight.
  7. Check with your doctor, oncology nurse, or your pharmacist about specific sun-related effects of your therapy.
  8. In the case of sunburn, use cold compresses and aloe Vera to ease discomfort. Contact your pharmacist if redness persists or if your sunburn is severe.

Other health problems due to UV rays exposure:

  1. Sunburn
  2. Premature aging of the skin and signs of sun damage including Wrinkle, leathery skin, liver spots, actinic keratosis)
  3. Eye problems: cornea inflamed or burned, cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye), and pterygium (tissue growth on the surface of the eye)
  4. The weakening of the immune system.