How long to protect radiated area from sun?

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Question from ShealaghB: I was told that I have to protect the area of skin that had radiotherapy from the sun. Do I have to do that forever? Do I need to cover these areas well, or just wear sunscreen? Thanks.
Answers - Marisa Weiss, M.D. For the first year or so immediately after radiation to the breast area, I would protect the treated skin with a bathing suit that has a boat-neck neckline. The alternative is frequent use of a sun protection factor sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. When going into a swimming pool with a lot of chlorine, or in the ocean with salt, it may be best to use a barrier cream or ointment (like Vaseline) to protect your skin against the chlorine and/or salt. In years to come, you can stick with sunscreen primarily and wear a lower neckline, if that's your choice.

On Wednesday, June 1, 2005, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Summertime Issues: Treatment and Personal CareMaria Theodoulou, M.D., Tamara Shulman, Ph.D., and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about the various summertime issues that relate to breast cancer treatment and personal care.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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