Summer Sun and Healing: Enjoying the Season After Breast Cancer Treatment

Summer Sun and Healing: Enjoying the Season After Breast Cancer Treatment

The arrival of summer brings visions of carefree days, but for breast cancer survivors, the season can raise concerns. Treatment side effects like sun sensitivity and fatigue can cast a shadow over outdoor fun. However, with a little planning and self-care, you can embrace the warmth and beauty of summer while prioritizing your well-being.

Sun Safety After Treatment:

  • SPF is Your BFF: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can increase sun sensitivity. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher liberally and reapply frequently, especially after swimming or sweating.
  • Seek Shade: Plan outdoor activities for cooler mornings or evenings. Seek shade whenever possible, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when UV rays are strongest.
  • Cover Up: Wear protective clothing like wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, long-sleeved shirts. For sensitive areas like scars, consider using breathable sun sleeves or wraps.

Staying Active and Cool:

  • Hydration is Key: Dehydration can worsen fatigue, a common side effect of treatment. Carry a reusable water bottle and sip fluids throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty.
  • Listen to Your Body: Don't push yourself too hard. Plan activities you enjoy and adjust the intensity based on your energy levels. Take breaks often and seek air conditioning when needed.
  • Embrace Low-Impact Exercise: Swimming, water walking, or gentle yoga are excellent ways to stay active and cool in the summer heat. These activities are easier on your joints and promote overall well-being.

Enjoying Summer Activities:

  • Modify Pool Fun: Cooling off in the pool can be refreshing, but chlorine can irritate sensitive skin. Wear a rashguard and rinse well with fresh water after swimming.
  • Plan Social Gatherings Wisely: Large crowds and hot weather can be overwhelming. Opt for smaller gatherings with close friends or family in cooler settings.
  • Embrace Relaxation: Summer is a great time to prioritize self-care. Schedule time for activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress, like meditation or reading a good book in a shady spot.


  • Communicate with Your Doctor: Discuss summer plans with your doctor. They can offer personalized advice regarding sun safety, activity levels, and managing any lingering side effects.
  • Embrace Support: Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends, family, or support groups. Connecting with others who understand your journey can be a source of strength and encouragement.

By prioritizing sun safety, self-care, and activities you enjoy, you can transform summer into a season of healing and joyful moments. Let the sunshine nourish your spirit as you continue your journey towards wellness.