Whether summer is your favorite time of year or you’re more of a winter weather person, the season is upon us, and with it comes the need for extra precautions for people who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
Patients can be exposed to the heat and the sun whether they’re on their way to treatment or trying to maintain a sense of normalcy by spending time with family. Here are some important tips to help you adjust and protect yourself.
We all know that the sun’s rays can do damage and we should all be using sunscreen to protect our skin, but mesothelioma patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments can be even more sensitive to its rays, which can even have an impact through a car window.
Try to keep sun exposure during the time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to a minimum, and always apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, reapplying it frequently.
You may need a sunscreen for sensitive skin. Wear a hat, especially if you have lost your hair, and if you have had radiation treatments you need to cover up the areas that were exposed to its rays, as they will be particularly sensitive to sunburn. The same is true of surgical scars – keep them covered by clothing if at all possible, but since most clothes don’t protect against UV rays, put on sunscreen too.
If you’re a mesothelioma patient who is going to be attending family events such as an outdoor party, make sure that there will be a shady area available or that you will be able to sit in an air conditioned area.
Wear light clothes and make sure that you’re drinking plenty of cool water, staying away from alcohol. Drinks with electrolytes like Pedialyte or Gatorade may be helpful in keeping you from getting dehydrated.
You may also want to bring your own snacks if you have been having problems with your appetite or keeping down food, as family may not be aware of how cancer treatments may have changed your taste.Be especially careful of food that has not been properly refrigerated, as you are very vulnerable to food poisoning – the same is true of fruits and vegetables, which need to be carefully washed. If you’re going into a pool make sure to rinse chlorine off right away, as your skin is particularly sensitive to its drying effects.