ZocdocAnswersIs sun exposure harmful to those with lung cancer?

Question

Is sun exposure harmful to those with lung cancer?

Should people with lung cancer avoid sun exposure? My father is dealing with lung cancer right now, and my tendency is to think that we should keep him out of the sun while his immune system is weak, since my family is prone to skin cancer, too. Is this true?

Answer

When a loved one develops cancer, there are always many questions that family have about what actions are best for their health. The best type of physician to ask these types of questions is an oncologist. In general, it is probably safe for your father to have an average amount of sun exposure. While his susceptibility to skin cancer is probably a bit higher than it was before the cancer, the average risk is still not high enough to warrant precautions. With that said, it is probably not a good idea for your father (or anyone else) to lay out in the summer sun and tan. Keep in mind that avoiding sun exposure can make someone deficient in vitamin D. Deficiency in vitamin D can cause many problems including weakness in the bones. This is why too little sun exposure can be detrimental to ones health. Only his doctor can determine how much sun exposure is right for him. I suggest that you schedule an appointment for your dad with the oncologist that is treating his lung cancer. He or she can evaluate your father's risk for skin cancer in the context of his lung cancer and give you the best advise on how much sun is okay.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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