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All TopicsForum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Tanning Beds after Radiation

Topic: Tanning Beds after Radiation

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After — What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Feb 24, 2009 12:10PM

Minnegirl1 wrote:

Hi, I have a question and I hope I'm positing in the right spot. Sorry, if I'm not. I finished 33 rads back on Dec 22nd and now that my life is slowly getting back to "normal" and spring is around the corner I've thought about wanting to go tanning again. I'm not a CRAZY tanner. I go a couple times a week and once I have a slight tan, it's maybe once a week. Anyway, I love having a little color, it makes me feel so much better. I know that no doctor would recommend a tanning bed with or without rads, but I wanted some of your opinions and what you thought about it. Any input would be great. Thanks!!

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Posts 1 - 29 (29 total)

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Feb 24, 2009 12:19PM IllinoisNancy wrote:

HI,

I have always felt better with a little tan also.  I quit going for about a year when I found out I had BC but now I enjoy it once a week and I just cover up the breast that had the radiation.  I really don't think they have found a connection between breast cancer and skin cancer.  I have given up a lot of things since my dx but I'm not giving up on this one yet.

Good Luck,

Nancy

OncotypeDX was 9, Pleomorphic ILC, Breast cancer twice, 10/06 and 10/10,

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Feb 24, 2009 12:27PM, edited Apr 20, 2009 02:45PM by sunshine787990

Hey girls.... I too love to tan....just makes me feel better.  I started back about 4 weeks ago.. I'm going to see my daughter in Hawaii and wanted a little color.  I go about once week. I know everyone says it's bad for you...but like you said IllinoisNancy this is one thing I really enjoy and I'm not givin it up!  Cool 
Dx 4/11/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 25/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 24, 2009 12:32PM soprano wrote:

Yikes!  What about spray on?  I've heard that if you find the right place it can be very good.  (or does that defeat the point for you?)

for my mom

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Feb 24, 2009 12:42PM sunshine787990 wrote:

soprano...I don't know how to explain it...The color is not the main thing...it's the way it makes me fee???? My husband calls it an attitude adjustment..... If I just sit in the sun for even 5 minutes it makes me feel happy...alive....crazy huh

Dx 4/11/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 25/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 24, 2009 12:47PM Jo_Ann_K wrote:

Have you considered using the UV lights that are manufactured for people with Seasonal Affective disorder-based depression? They are not as damaging as tanning beds and do a lot to uplift spirits.

Per the Mayo Clinic: "Light therapy is a way to treat seasonal affective disorder, depression and certain other conditions by exposure to bright artificial light. During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. The light therapy box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light.

Exposure to bright light from a light therapy box is thought to alter your circadian rhythms and suppress your body's natural release of melatonin. Together, these cause biochemical changes in your brain that help reduce or control symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and other conditions. Light therapy is also known as bright light therapy or phototherapy."

http://joannklein.blogspot.com

Dx 9/5/2008, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+Surgery 10/01/2008 Lumpectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 10/22/2008 ExternalHormonal Therapy 01/09/2009 Tamoxifen
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Feb 24, 2009 12:47PM soprano wrote:

I thought that might be the case.  Not so much one for the sun myself so I didn't think that I'd really understand.  (My husband calls me his vampire)  I do know that some people feel really invigorated by the sun but it usually makes me sleepy.  I have considered the spray on tans because I do like some color in the summer.  The sun does provide vitamin D...

for my mom

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Feb 24, 2009 02:05PM Minnegirl1 wrote:

Thanks ladies! I'm glad to know I'm not alone. I almost feel as it's self indulgent given everything my poor body has been through. But, I so much enjoy the warmth, the glow, and how it makes me feel.. It makes me happy!  I just wasn't sure how harmful it was to an area that had been radiated. But, I think I'll take IllinoisNancy's tip and cover that side up.

Dx 5/7/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 24, 2009 02:09PM sunshine787990 wrote:

L'Oreal has a bronzing lotion that is a good if you are just wanting the color....

I have heard about the "light boxes"  but never checked into them

I just use the tanning beds....It's nice and quite

for 15 minutes no interruptions...guess it's my 15 minutes of paradise...

Dx 4/11/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 25/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 27, 2009 01:40PM Krissy37 wrote:

Are there any ladies here that HAS used the tanning bed after radiation, and if so, did you notice any skin changes on the radiated side , is it more tender or sore even? 

Did you "cover up" or use a sunscreen on the side?  (not the tanning lotions you are supposed to use).

Thanks

Krissy

Dx 3/19/2008, DCIS, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Feb 27, 2009 02:23PM, edited Apr 20, 2009 02:46PM by sunshine787990

Krissy37  I finished radiation in Oct. I have been tanning about 3 weeks or so. I go once a week and stay for 15 minutes.. My radiated side is a little bit darker, but it was before I started.  I'm still sore in that area...but I ask my obgyn yesterday and she said I would be sore for awhile due to the radiation.

Dx 4/11/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 25/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 1, 2009 08:26AM treetop wrote:

Hi everyone,

My immediate response was oh no... Please ladies consider what you are doing having these rays on you for tanning.. Look up cancer and tanning beds and see what comes up.. In  some countries they have warnings on the machines saying that the rays can be harmful. I read that a young Australian girl died from cancer caused by the rays in 2008..

So if you must have color... and I can understand that.. go for fake tans, spray ons.. but I dont think anyone would want to go through chemo etc again..

all the best

treetop

Dx 12/8/2008, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 1, 2009 07:43PM dmh2418 wrote:

my rad onc told me to be very careful out in the sun for about a year after finishing my rads.  When I went on vacation I used the strongest spf lotion and still kept my chest area covered as much as possible.  It's just to protect the skin that might be more sensitve he told me. 

Dx 6/20/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Mar 3, 2009 08:25AM, edited Oct 4, 2010 09:35PM by 0000ut

This Post was deleted by 0000ut.
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Mar 15, 2009 12:11AM Krissy37 wrote:

Has anyone tried the mystic spray-on tanning before?  What did you like / dislike about it?

Krissy

Dx 3/19/2008, DCIS, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Apr 17, 2009 03:55PM kriss_kat wrote:

I like the Mystic Tan, but it rubs off on light colored clothes, bedding, towels...

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Apr 17, 2009 05:11PM sharebear wrote:

My radiologist back in 1995 was amazed. I was only 32. I use to tan topless in the beds.  I wasn't a crazy tanner I just liked a little color in the summer. I did wear sunscreen in the sun. The radiologist was amazed. I never had any skin reaction to the radiation. Not even to the boost at the end. No burning, cracking peeling - nothing.  He use to laugh. He said not that he would recommend to all his patients to tan topless before starting radiation he definitely says the lack of  side effects was due to the tanning.  The next summer I covered up in the tanning bed because I was concerned about the effect it would have on the scar itself. 

My Chemo was over in October of 2007 (this time) and in April 2008 I went to Hawaii. My onc. said it was O.K. to tan before I went. His view was "live a little"!

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Apr 17, 2009 05:17PM sunshine787990 wrote:

sharebare... I also tanned a little before I went to Hawaii in March.  My daughter lives there and everything we do we do outside... I used sunscreen outside and I came home without a sunburn.  I also tanned topless before bc for a little color and the radiation on my skin was very minor.  I'm with you ... you got to live a little! 

Dx 4/11/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 25/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 18, 2009 11:05AM Jeanne_D wrote:

Sunshine..you only waited a couple of months before you went tanning in a tanning bed?  What happened to the side that had the radiation?  Did it tan, get red, hurt?  The first time I had bc and radiation in 85..I just tanned outside that following summer and have tanned outside and in a tanning bed ever since.  But, with the bc and radiation this year on the other breast..I am not for sure how long to wait.  The doctors say never tan again, but, that isn't realistic.  How long did any of you wait?  And, what happened to the radiation side?  Thanks!

Dx 1/8/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 18, 2009 10:43PM QueenK wrote:

Not realistic??? Are you KIDDING me? I have not tanned for 5 years and I am 33 years old.Ever since my tanning bed loving friends (2 of them and 1 worked at a salon) got melanoma.My SIL also got melanoma.I am sorry, why would you want to do that? Skin cancer is pretty common and esp when you have had radiation which has already set you up for damage.

Are we that vain?

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Apr 19, 2009 12:46PM sjr585 wrote:

Why risk your chance of getting another cancer?  Google melanoma and tanning beds and read what it says.  there is no cure for melanoma.  My husband had melanoma, did all kinds of treatments and still passed away from melanoma. 

sally 

God hasn't promised us tomorrow; but he has promised us eternity.

Dx 10/24/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 28, 2009 03:07PM BarbaraInIN wrote:

I was dx in May of 05, in '05 I had a left mast.  In '08, I had a lat flap on the left, and a mast on the right, and then reconstruction.  I have not been out in the sun for any extended time since the summer of '04. 

In May of this year we (husband and our girls) are going on a celebratory cruise to the bahamas, to celebrate me being a 4 year survivor! The last thing I want to do is get burnt to a crisp.  So, I've decided to go to a tanning bed to prepare for vacation.  I've started 5 weeks in advance, and only go for a minimal time. (5 minutes)  I have only seen a slight extra darkening from one of the fields where I had rads.  I started putting a 45spf sunblock on that area, and now it is the same color as the rest of the skin around it.  I have tattoos from recon, so I need to protect them from the tanning bed, because it would make them fade.  Since I have had recon I have several bras that no longer fit me.  I took one of those bras and cut off the straps and cut the attaching fabric between the cups.  I chose an underwire so it would have a little bit of weight to stay in place with a fan blowing.  When we are on vacation, I will DEFINATELY wear sunscreen.

Since I've had 22 lymphnodes removed from my left arm it is very important that I not get a sunburn on that arm.  I am certain that a week in the sun, with no preparation would be more detrimental to my skin, than utilizing a tanning bed in advance.

Please notice that I have waited 4 years before exposing any of my rad fields. 

Dx 5/19/2005, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 6/22 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 28, 2009 04:07PM sunshine787990 wrote:

BarbaraInIN ... 4 year survivor that is GREAT!  Congrats and have a wonderful wonderful trip to the Bahamas!   You have to live life!!!  It's very short so go and ENJOY!  I am also pretanning before I take my kids on a graduation trip ...  We are going to Cozumel...

Dx 4/11/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 25/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 29, 2009 12:01AM Jeanne_D wrote:

It seems that some of you tanned after only a couple of months of finishing radiation and did fine.  That is encouraging!

Dx 1/8/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 29, 2009 09:13AM sunshine787990 wrote:

Jeanne_D  ... I finished chemo in August and Radiation in Oct. I started tanning in Feb. I went to Hawaii to see my daughter in March.. used sunscreen and returned without a sunburn. I have not tanned since my trip but plan on tanning a little in May for our June trip. 

Dx 4/11/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 25/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 29, 2009 04:24PM, edited Apr 29, 2009 04:49PM by Kleenex

"Not a crazy tanner" - but more than once a week? What would be "crazy"?

This is an amusing thread - the juxtaposition of "I need/deserve to tan" and the "OMG! What are you thinking?" viewpoints.

I lived in Nebraska for four years, and you have never seen tanning practiced so religiously. Deep, bronze glow in February, when the sun's UV index is probably -1. It has been shown that tanning is actually an addiction - when you tan, a chemical is produced by your body that makes your brain happy. Like with cocaine and alcohol. People with skin cancer have been found to be unable to stop doing it, even after their diagnosis. Check this out:

http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/guide/20061101/hooked-on-tanning

Ahhhh, for the good old days when a tan meant you were a poor person who had to work outside for your living, and pasty whiteness was the desired skin tone!

Dx 6/19/2008, ILC, 2cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 29, 2009 05:55PM Kleenex wrote:

Also, here's what to do for Hawaii and other sunny places:

www.sunprecautions.com/

Dx 6/19/2008, ILC, 2cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 30, 2009 12:09AM Jeanne_D wrote:

Sunshine..I hope you have a great trip and get a great tan!  I plan on tanning after radiation, but, I will probably wait a couple of months.  I love a tan..always have.  Ofcourse now, I have a tan from the radiation.  lol  Kind of expensive though!  LOL 

Dx 1/8/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 30, 2009 03:21PM sunshine787990 wrote:

Jeanne_D  Thanks for the well wishes...We plan on having loads of fun...so far 14 in our Party!

Dx 4/11/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 25/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 16, 2009 03:06PM sissybiggirl wrote:

I had breast cancer over a year ago, with internal radiation.  I suggest GLOW FUSION spray on tan for a beautiful, safe alternative to a tanning bed.