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Fun in the Sun with Myeloma

Summer is around the corner and so is the sun. I’m a winter baby but I do like some aspects of what summertime brings… well, all but one…the rays of the sun. My body make-up is unique in so many ways regarding what I can tolerate and what I can’t. I happen to be allergic to sunscreen protection, so hanging around in the sun is no longer an option for me. I came across this realization right after college after breaking out into hives with a 2nd-degree burn on my face. It’s a long story, but let’s just say that in my case, sunblock is not my friend. We are warned for the most part of the side effects that come along with treating multiple myeloma. However, it’s very important to watch the amount of sun intake while you are on certain medications, including those for your cancer or other types of medications, as well.

What’s the big deal?

Skin cancer has been a huge concern over the years, and we know that too many sun rays can be very detrimental to our health.

When on various medications, they can affect us all very differently. However, some can have a tendency tend to dry out and make the skin more susceptible to cracks. The skin may become red, sore, and itchy. These qualities make us prone to the harmful rays of the sun. We can experience sun and heat sensitivity and sunburn even with minimal exposure. Failing to take precautions to protect your skin and any rashes, blisters, or cracks is just not the best thing to do.

Limiting the temptation to roast

It’s always a good idea to limit the amount of sun we feel it necessary to get, and using these cancer-savvy suggestions for being in the sun is a good idea.1

Wear proper cover-up clothing

Whether you don long sleeves, long pants or long skirts while taking in the rays, keeping your skin covered is a good thing.

Use the proper sunscreen

If you’re not allergic like me and can tolerate the creams sprays, then wear and reapply sunscreen with the proper SPF. If your skin is sensitive to sunscreen, you may want to discuss the proper route to take while on medications that may make you sun sensitive.

Protect your head

Sometimes we forget other components of our bodies that need some love when in the sun. The head often tops the list. Covering your head, which in turn covers portions of your face, is another good way to go.

Pick a place with shade

It’s always a good idea to hurry towards a spot that is not directly in the sun, especially if you’re not wearing the proper clothes and are exposed.

Fan

Unfortunately, another side effect from some medications is becoming overheated. I’m sure many female patients can relate, as well as men, to becoming overheated. Some treatment drugs for cancer can bring about early menopause for women, making the sweltering sun even more serious.

Fun in the sun can work, but as always, be mindful of the situations you may be in and try to think ahead to protect your skin!

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Blood-Cancer.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Cancer and Sun Safety: What You Need to Know. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Available at https://www.lls.org/blog/cancer-and-sun-safety-what-you-need-to-know

Comments

  • Carole McCue
    1 month ago

    Great suggestions. I have experienced basal cell on my face after my blood cancer. I have promised my oncologist to always use sunscreen, wear a hat, sit under an umbrella and keep hydrated.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator author
    1 month ago

    Hi Carole, keep at whatever is necessary for sun protection. Sometimes many of us forget to factor in on the environment that makes us sicker. Best!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    2 months ago

    Fun in the sun is, well, fun. But to much sun leads to sunburn, pain, dry skin, and maybe cancer. I usually make my own sunscreen, but when I can’t, I use organic protection. So far no sunburn this year!

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator author
    2 months ago

    Great news Ann! Keep at whatever you’re doing.

  • Deb Wesloh moderator
    2 months ago

    Thanks for the good advice! Sorry you have an allergy to sunscreen.
    I am on medications for polycythemia vera that do make me more sensitive to the sun. One in particular increases my chance of non-melanoma skin cancers…and of course I wound up with basal cell carcinoma within nine months of starting the medication (coincidence?…I think not…).
    I love being outside, even in the South Texas heat, therefore I am ultra cautious in the sun, using lots of super SPF sunscreen and a nice wide brimmed hat.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator author
    2 months ago

    Hi Deb, Keep living you’re best life and staying cautious being out here in this sun. Best!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    2 months ago

    I live the idea of a hat! I’ll have to get one – thanks for the idea.

  • Ann Harper moderator
    1 month ago

    So I tried on a brim hat the other day and I look awful in it! Lol. Looking for a new plan.

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