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"Chemotherapy - Is it best to stay out of the sun after chemotherapy?"
My mom just finished chemotherapy for breast cancer, and she's recovering well. Now we're back home, and she wants to get out in the sun, but I'm pretty sure I remember the doctor talking about sun - chemo side effects. Is it best to stay out of the sun if you've recently had chemo?
Chemotherapy has many effects on the body, including the growth the skin, hair, and nails. The doctors who will be able to discuss this issue with you in greater detail include your mother's primary care doctor or oncologist. Chemotherapy works by interfering with the normal function of rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, but also skin and hair cells. The result is that hair loss and thinning of the skin are common. When the chemotherapy is stop, the skin and hair gradually recover. However, in the immediate time after finishing chemotherapy the new skin and hair is very delicate and very sensitive to damage. For this reason, it is important to involve damaging it. This means, among other things, avoiding prolonged exposure to sun and always using a good sun screen. Also, some chemotherapy increase the risk later in life of secondary cancers, such as skin cancer. This means that your mother will be at higher risk of skin cancer if she does not protect her skin very well. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your mother's specific concern will require a physical examination by her personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with her primary care doctor or oncologist might be advised.
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