Summertime often means more time outdoors increasing exposure to the sun. Unfortunately chemo and the sun don’t get along.
A side effect of chemotherapy that many cancer patients express they feel the most is sun sensitivity. This “photosensitivity” occurs because agents in chemotherapy are radiosensitizers which help to impact treatment, but also increase the body’s sensitivity to UV rays (the radiation from the sun that reaches the earth).
A little bit of sunshine can be beneficial, since the sun provides Vitamin D for strong bones, but too much exposure during chemotherapy can be dangerous and increase your risk of sunburn.
Several kinds of medications for cancer and non-cancer alike can also increase sun sensitivity. It is very important to be aware of your situation and discuss this with your medical team before heading outside for time in the sun.
For more info: weillcornellgucancer.org
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