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HOW MUCH SUN EXPOSURE AFTER STAGE 1 DIAGNOSIS

Forums General Melanoma Community HOW MUCH SUN EXPOSURE AFTER STAGE 1 DIAGNOSIS

  • Post
    stretch
    Participant

      I AM 63 AND WAS DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 1 MELANOMA – I HAD SURGERY EARLIER THIS MONTH AND ALL SHOULD BE OK (NEGATIVE MARGINS)

      HOWEVER I AM TOTALLY STRESSED AND CONFUSED AS TO HOW TO GO ABOUT LIVING MY LIFE – IS IT OK TO BE IN THE SUN WITH UV PROTECTION CLOTHING OR AM I TO AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS?

      MY HUSBAND AND I ARE ACTIVE PEOPLE WHO LOVE CANOEING, SWIMMING, ETC; WE HAVE A FAMILY REUNION IN JULY ON A LAKE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT PRECAUTIONS ARE NEEDED (OTHER THAN THE UV CLOTHING AND LOTIONS)

      I AM 63 AND WAS DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 1 MELANOMA – I HAD SURGERY EARLIER THIS MONTH AND ALL SHOULD BE OK (NEGATIVE MARGINS)

      HOWEVER I AM TOTALLY STRESSED AND CONFUSED AS TO HOW TO GO ABOUT LIVING MY LIFE – IS IT OK TO BE IN THE SUN WITH UV PROTECTION CLOTHING OR AM I TO AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS?

      MY HUSBAND AND I ARE ACTIVE PEOPLE WHO LOVE CANOEING, SWIMMING, ETC; WE HAVE A FAMILY REUNION IN JULY ON A LAKE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT PRECAUTIONS ARE NEEDED (OTHER THAN THE UV CLOTHING AND LOTIONS)

      I CALLED MY DERMATOLOGIST, WHO SAID I WAS NOT TO BE IN THE SUN AT ALL!!! THAT SEEMS CRAZY (IMPOSSIBLE!) AND I AM HOPING TO GET MORE CLARIFICATION BEFORE I RESORT TO LIVING MY LIFE IN A CAVE

      THANK YOU ALL IN ADVANCE FOR ANY ADVICE/SUGGESTIONS/CLARITY YOU CAN PROVIDE!

       

      CAROL

    Viewing 16 reply threads
    • Replies
        TracyLee
        Participant

          Carol,

          Very high SPF sunscreen, alternate time outside (in the sun) with inside or shade. Re-apply frequently, and have your husband help you cover everything (tops of feet, ears,  backs of hands,etc).

          Wear a broad brimmed hat, re-apply sunscreen even more often (notice the theme?).

          Relax, enjoy your family and the trip. We here on this board are painfully aware that life is short, so focus on the happy times.

          You can use this as a great time to be a living example to many family members, so go for it.

          We can't live in black caves for the rest of our lives, but neither should we say "what the hell" and go bake on a beach between 10 -2 with no sunscreen!

          Between high SPF sunscreen, alternating time (how about a moonlit canoe adventure?), and the UV protective clothing, you should be fine. Healthy activity can only help, mentally and physically.

          TracyLee

            stretch
            Participant

              thank you so much for your quick reply – i can't tell you how comforting to hear i can go about life while taking appropriate precautions – i have spent more $$ on uv 50 clothing than i have spent on myself in years – i look foolish i know (long brimmed hat; long sleeves; long pants and the temp is 85) but at least i'm comforted in knowing i can go about my business and have a good quality of life

              stretch
              Participant

                thank you so much for your quick reply – i can't tell you how comforting to hear i can go about life while taking appropriate precautions – i have spent more $$ on uv 50 clothing than i have spent on myself in years – i look foolish i know (long brimmed hat; long sleeves; long pants and the temp is 85) but at least i'm comforted in knowing i can go about my business and have a good quality of life

              TracyLee
              Participant

                Carol,

                Very high SPF sunscreen, alternate time outside (in the sun) with inside or shade. Re-apply frequently, and have your husband help you cover everything (tops of feet, ears,  backs of hands,etc).

                Wear a broad brimmed hat, re-apply sunscreen even more often (notice the theme?).

                Relax, enjoy your family and the trip. We here on this board are painfully aware that life is short, so focus on the happy times.

                You can use this as a great time to be a living example to many family members, so go for it.

                We can't live in black caves for the rest of our lives, but neither should we say "what the hell" and go bake on a beach between 10 -2 with no sunscreen!

                Between high SPF sunscreen, alternating time (how about a moonlit canoe adventure?), and the UV protective clothing, you should be fine. Healthy activity can only help, mentally and physically.

                TracyLee

                lhaley
                Participant

                  Carol,

                  While you are at a higher risk, only 8% of the melanoma population gets a 2nd primary. Since 1979 I've had 6 or 7 with many atypicals. I haven't had a new one in over 8 years. For 5 of those years we lived at the beach. I'm not going to try and tell you that I didn't go out and sit by the water!  I did apply sunscreen librally. I always wore a cover up but it wasn't long sleeve. I only 1 time in those 5 years got a sunburn and it wasn't what I would call a sunburn.  I mostly went early mornings and late afternoons when the sun wasn't at it's highest.

                  Those who are even more predisposed are those who have a hereditary factor.  There are many types of clothes now that have spf factors, or make sure your clothes have a tight weave. 

                  I can't imagine anyone living their life inside of the walls of their house and not going out to enjoy life. Just be sun smart, you don't have to go crazy. I'm sure I'll get blasted by some but I'm also sure that many on this board still go out in the sun.

                  Linda

                  stage IV since 06,  dealing with mel since 1979

                    stretch
                    Participant

                      hi linda

                       

                      thank you so much for replying to my question!  i have been driving myself (and my husband!) crazy about what i can and can't do – as i tried to explain to him, i feel like a lung cancer patient who won't give up smoking!!!

                      it's nice to know i can be smart and go about living my life in moderation

                      i wish you good health as we go through this stage in our lives together

                       

                      carol

                      stretch
                      Participant

                        hi linda

                         

                        thank you so much for replying to my question!  i have been driving myself (and my husband!) crazy about what i can and can't do – as i tried to explain to him, i feel like a lung cancer patient who won't give up smoking!!!

                        it's nice to know i can be smart and go about living my life in moderation

                        i wish you good health as we go through this stage in our lives together

                         

                        carol

                      lhaley
                      Participant

                        Carol,

                        While you are at a higher risk, only 8% of the melanoma population gets a 2nd primary. Since 1979 I've had 6 or 7 with many atypicals. I haven't had a new one in over 8 years. For 5 of those years we lived at the beach. I'm not going to try and tell you that I didn't go out and sit by the water!  I did apply sunscreen librally. I always wore a cover up but it wasn't long sleeve. I only 1 time in those 5 years got a sunburn and it wasn't what I would call a sunburn.  I mostly went early mornings and late afternoons when the sun wasn't at it's highest.

                        Those who are even more predisposed are those who have a hereditary factor.  There are many types of clothes now that have spf factors, or make sure your clothes have a tight weave. 

                        I can't imagine anyone living their life inside of the walls of their house and not going out to enjoy life. Just be sun smart, you don't have to go crazy. I'm sure I'll get blasted by some but I'm also sure that many on this board still go out in the sun.

                        Linda

                        stage IV since 06,  dealing with mel since 1979

                        Janner
                        Participant

                          Living with a melanoma diagnosis is all about being sun smart.  I've been stage I for 19 years but had multiple melanoma primaries.  I do everything I did before a diagnosis.  IF I have the option to do things earlier in the morning or later in the day, that's what I do.  But if something is happening midday that I want to be a part of, I do it!  I just wear more clothing.  I'm not an overly big fan of sunscreen.  I wear it if I have no other options.  I prefer to cover up, use umbrellas, large hats, etc.  I refuse to let melanoma run my life.  I just try to do everything a little more sun smart than I did before. 

                          Best wishes,

                          Janner

                            stretch
                            Participant

                              thank you so much for your quick reply – i can't tell you how comforting it is to hear i can go about life while taking appropriate precautions – i have spent more $$ on uv 50 clothing than i have spent on myself in years – i look foolish i know (long brimmed hat; long sleeves; long pants and the temp is 85) but at least i'm comforted in knowing i can go about my business and have a good quality of life

                              i wish you only good health in the years ahead

                              stretch
                              Participant

                                thank you so much for your quick reply – i can't tell you how comforting it is to hear i can go about life while taking appropriate precautions – i have spent more $$ on uv 50 clothing than i have spent on myself in years – i look foolish i know (long brimmed hat; long sleeves; long pants and the temp is 85) but at least i'm comforted in knowing i can go about my business and have a good quality of life

                                i wish you only good health in the years ahead

                              Janner
                              Participant

                                Living with a melanoma diagnosis is all about being sun smart.  I've been stage I for 19 years but had multiple melanoma primaries.  I do everything I did before a diagnosis.  IF I have the option to do things earlier in the morning or later in the day, that's what I do.  But if something is happening midday that I want to be a part of, I do it!  I just wear more clothing.  I'm not an overly big fan of sunscreen.  I wear it if I have no other options.  I prefer to cover up, use umbrellas, large hats, etc.  I refuse to let melanoma run my life.  I just try to do everything a little more sun smart than I did before. 

                                Best wishes,

                                Janner

                                dian in spokane
                                Participant

                                  I have yet to see ANY evidence that sun exposure will lead to a progression of disease. What sun exposure leads to is a higher risk of another primary melanoma.

                                  I had 3 primaries back in 1983 and was very careful in the sun for 20 yrs and progressed anyway. In my opinion, if one is going to progress, they are, and the sun has little to do with it. Not much you can do about that except try to boost your immune system. But as others have mentioned, your chance of advancing are slim, and your chances of another melanoma are slim.

                                  To help ward off another primary melanoma, and other more common skin cancers,  you should exercise caution..use sunscreen, and even more important (I think) is to learn to become a shade seeker. Avoid sunburns! I always feel like I have failed a little if I get a sunburn. Like a few weeks ago, when we had our first real sun up here in the gloomy Northwest, I got a little burn on the tops of my feet between my sandels! So now I have this tanned stripe on my feet and it bugs me every time I see it. a tiny failure in protection.

                                  But you can do a pretty fine job of carrying on with your normal swimming, canoeing, mountain climbing and whatever else you want to do if you use the right protection, uv clothing, hats, long sleeves, sunscreen. Maybe during those times that you are not actively doing one of those things, but still outside, look for shade. try to avoid those really hot hours when you can, but don't let it wreck your life!

                                  I shudder to think of the things I would have missed over the last 23 yrs in my life if I had spent it completely avoiding the sun.

                                    stretch
                                    Participant

                                      wow – you should be the poster person for someone with this disease – it's great to hear you have gone for so many years and are still enjoying life!

                                      you're right, of course, when you say you can't imagine all you would have missed if you lived your life indoors – which is why i've been so upset about giving up the things that bring me happiness –

                                      continue being strong – and i will try to follow your example!

                                       

                                      carol

                                      stretch
                                      Participant

                                        wow – you should be the poster person for someone with this disease – it's great to hear you have gone for so many years and are still enjoying life!

                                        you're right, of course, when you say you can't imagine all you would have missed if you lived your life indoors – which is why i've been so upset about giving up the things that bring me happiness –

                                        continue being strong – and i will try to follow your example!

                                         

                                        carol

                                      dian in spokane
                                      Participant

                                        I have yet to see ANY evidence that sun exposure will lead to a progression of disease. What sun exposure leads to is a higher risk of another primary melanoma.

                                        I had 3 primaries back in 1983 and was very careful in the sun for 20 yrs and progressed anyway. In my opinion, if one is going to progress, they are, and the sun has little to do with it. Not much you can do about that except try to boost your immune system. But as others have mentioned, your chance of advancing are slim, and your chances of another melanoma are slim.

                                        To help ward off another primary melanoma, and other more common skin cancers,  you should exercise caution..use sunscreen, and even more important (I think) is to learn to become a shade seeker. Avoid sunburns! I always feel like I have failed a little if I get a sunburn. Like a few weeks ago, when we had our first real sun up here in the gloomy Northwest, I got a little burn on the tops of my feet between my sandels! So now I have this tanned stripe on my feet and it bugs me every time I see it. a tiny failure in protection.

                                        But you can do a pretty fine job of carrying on with your normal swimming, canoeing, mountain climbing and whatever else you want to do if you use the right protection, uv clothing, hats, long sleeves, sunscreen. Maybe during those times that you are not actively doing one of those things, but still outside, look for shade. try to avoid those really hot hours when you can, but don't let it wreck your life!

                                        I shudder to think of the things I would have missed over the last 23 yrs in my life if I had spent it completely avoiding the sun.

                                        Carmon in NM
                                        Participant

                                          Hi Carol – I have some of those expensive UV clothes too and I also found out that a dark denim shirt will act as a 100% UV block. They are a bit hot but great for everyday wear and you can find some great sales on them. What shocked me was finding out that what I had worn for years, long sleeve t-shirts or chambray type shirts, only filter 20% of UVA/UVB!

                                          As everyone else has said, be careful but get out there and live every single day of your life! I am an active horsewoman and continued to teach riding the first two years after I was diagnosed. When I was out in the middle of a sunny arena I just wore a denim shirt over a tank top, a wide brim straw hat, jeans, gloves and plenty of good sun screen!

                                          I also started making my swims all moonlight ones which is really pretty wonderful and incredibly peaceful and relaxing. Life can and does go on, you just have to be a little more creative about it.

                                          My life got a little rough this last year when I progressed to Stage IV with a pretty dramatic helicopter ride to a neurological ICU because a met we didn't know about started bleeding into my brain. As soon as my scull healed enough after the craniotomy for me to put my helmet on, I was back on my horse!

                                          All of the treatments I went through, including six months of a clinical drug trial, were really hard on my husband so I convinced him this spring to act on one of the fantasies he has had since I met him and I got him to buy himself a brand new BMW motorcycle. He is as happy as a kid with a new toy and having so much fun buying me riding gear so that he can take me out for rides that it was worth every penny.

                                          So just get out there and LIVE!

                                            stretch
                                            Participant

                                              thank you so much for your input!  needless to say this is a very stressful time and being unsure only make it more stressful – i'll go ahead and live my life and take appropriate precautions

                                              i hope you are still riding horses and your husband is enjoying his bike (i assume you're on the back!)

                                              wishing you only good health as you continue this journey

                                               

                                              carol

                                              stretch
                                              Participant

                                                thank you so much for your input!  needless to say this is a very stressful time and being unsure only make it more stressful – i'll go ahead and live my life and take appropriate precautions

                                                i hope you are still riding horses and your husband is enjoying his bike (i assume you're on the back!)

                                                wishing you only good health as you continue this journey

                                                 

                                                carol

                                              Carmon in NM
                                              Participant

                                                Hi Carol – I have some of those expensive UV clothes too and I also found out that a dark denim shirt will act as a 100% UV block. They are a bit hot but great for everyday wear and you can find some great sales on them. What shocked me was finding out that what I had worn for years, long sleeve t-shirts or chambray type shirts, only filter 20% of UVA/UVB!

                                                As everyone else has said, be careful but get out there and live every single day of your life! I am an active horsewoman and continued to teach riding the first two years after I was diagnosed. When I was out in the middle of a sunny arena I just wore a denim shirt over a tank top, a wide brim straw hat, jeans, gloves and plenty of good sun screen!

                                                I also started making my swims all moonlight ones which is really pretty wonderful and incredibly peaceful and relaxing. Life can and does go on, you just have to be a little more creative about it.

                                                My life got a little rough this last year when I progressed to Stage IV with a pretty dramatic helicopter ride to a neurological ICU because a met we didn't know about started bleeding into my brain. As soon as my scull healed enough after the craniotomy for me to put my helmet on, I was back on my horse!

                                                All of the treatments I went through, including six months of a clinical drug trial, were really hard on my husband so I convinced him this spring to act on one of the fantasies he has had since I met him and I got him to buy himself a brand new BMW motorcycle. He is as happy as a kid with a new toy and having so much fun buying me riding gear so that he can take me out for rides that it was worth every penny.

                                                So just get out there and LIVE!

                                                mlbjab
                                                Participant

                                                  Wow, my Dermatologist must be very laid back.  I can't believe yours said to avoid ALL sun!  I go to the pool nearly every day with my children. I do sit in the shade when I can, and of course wear sunblock and a hat.  If I feel too much warmth from the sun I'll put my cover up on.  I do still wear a bikini. My doc sent me home with an information sheet at my last appt that says its NOT necessary or even recommended to wear SPF over 30.  Anything over 30 doesn't work as well as you would think they would, and it creates a false sense of security  – not to mention contains more chemicals.  My derm says – Live your life, be sun safe, but don't be afraid of the sun.  I actually have some tan lines this summer.  They are hard to avoid when you are at the pool everyday- even with sunscreen on.  Our summers are short and I cannot deny my kids the joy of summer – which to me is sun, sand, pools, beach, and a slushy on a hot day. 

                                                  mlbjab
                                                  Participant

                                                    Wow, my Dermatologist must be very laid back.  I can't believe yours said to avoid ALL sun!  I go to the pool nearly every day with my children. I do sit in the shade when I can, and of course wear sunblock and a hat.  If I feel too much warmth from the sun I'll put my cover up on.  I do still wear a bikini. My doc sent me home with an information sheet at my last appt that says its NOT necessary or even recommended to wear SPF over 30.  Anything over 30 doesn't work as well as you would think they would, and it creates a false sense of security  – not to mention contains more chemicals.  My derm says – Live your life, be sun safe, but don't be afraid of the sun.  I actually have some tan lines this summer.  They are hard to avoid when you are at the pool everyday- even with sunscreen on.  Our summers are short and I cannot deny my kids the joy of summer – which to me is sun, sand, pools, beach, and a slushy on a hot day. 

                                                      stretch
                                                      Participant

                                                        that is so completely different from what i was told – though there is no way i (anyone) can not spend any time outside!!!

                                                        fyi, when i asked the surgeon (not my dermo) how much sun was too much (and how would i know) he said my skin color should not change at all – if it does it's too much sun

                                                        stretch
                                                        Participant

                                                          that is so completely different from what i was told – though there is no way i (anyone) can not spend any time outside!!!

                                                          fyi, when i asked the surgeon (not my dermo) how much sun was too much (and how would i know) he said my skin color should not change at all – if it does it's too much sun

                                                          JerryfromFauq
                                                          Participant

                                                            Surgeon makes the most sense.

                                                            JerryfromFauq
                                                            Participant

                                                              Surgeon makes the most sense.

                                                            DeniseK
                                                            Participant

                                                              Hi Carol,

                                                              I read that there is a irony with sun and Melanoma.  Although being in the sun and getting sun burned can cause Melanoma, the sun offers us well needed Vitamin D with has excellent cancer fighting abilities!  So I think the key is to use sunscreen but don't illiminate the sun out of your life!!  I certainly will be soaking in about 10-15 minutes of sun every day!!

                                                               

                                                              Denise

                                                              DeniseK
                                                              Participant

                                                                Hi Carol,

                                                                I read that there is a irony with sun and Melanoma.  Although being in the sun and getting sun burned can cause Melanoma, the sun offers us well needed Vitamin D with has excellent cancer fighting abilities!  So I think the key is to use sunscreen but don't illiminate the sun out of your life!!  I certainly will be soaking in about 10-15 minutes of sun every day!!

                                                                 

                                                                Denise

                                                                SueGeorge
                                                                Participant

                                                                  After stage 1 diagnosis one should not go anywhere in the sun. If it is very important than proper sun protection should be must. Good sunscreens, sun hats and sunglasses are very important. Melanoma also occurs in the eye, so proper eye protection is very important. Try wearing UV protected sunglasses. Suppliers like Oakley, city sunglasses (http://www.citysunglass.com) and more offer great quality UV protected sunglasses.

                                                                  SueGeorge
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    After stage 1 diagnosis one should not go anywhere in the sun. If it is very important than proper sun protection should be must. Good sunscreens, sun hats and sunglasses are very important. Melanoma also occurs in the eye, so proper eye protection is very important. Try wearing UV protected sunglasses. Suppliers like Oakley, city sunglasses (http://www.citysunglass.com) and more offer great quality UV protected sunglasses.

                                                                    SueGeorge
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      After stage 1 diagnosis one should not go anywhere in the sun. If it is very important than proper sun protection should be must. Good sunscreens, sun hats and sunglasses are very important. Melanoma also occurs in the eye, so proper eye protection is very important. Try wearing UV protected sunglasses. Suppliers like Oakley, city sunglasses (http://www.citysunglass.com) and more offer great quality UV protected sunglasses.

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