4 Tips for Cancer Survivors on Summer Vacation

CURE® offers tips to stay relaxed and healthy during the summer months.

For many people, summer means a getaway, or even a relaxing staycation. Cancer survivors should keep a few things in mind to get the most out of their vacation and stay healthy along the way.

Sun protection. Using sunscreen prevents individuals from being exposed to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that could cause skin cancer. Not to mention, certain cancer treatments can result in photosensitivity – meaning that patients are more sensitive to the sunlight. Sunscreen is an essential for any summer outing (just make sure its ingredients are safe), as well as other protective measures like wide-brimmed hats, seeking shade, and wearing lightweight, UV-resistant clothing.

Stay moving. It can be tempting to have a lazy beach vacation, but a recent study found that when patients with colorectal cancer got 150 minutes of physical activity per week, they had improved quality of life, social and physical functioning, and felt less fatigued. Yoga and other adaptive exercise can also improve quality of life, writes one breast cancer survivor.

Be mindful of what you post – and read – online. Taking photos can be a wonderful way to remember a trip or family gathering, but it is important that cancer survivors think twice before posting on social media, especially if the post reveals their cancer diagnosis that an employer doesn’t know about.

Additionally, with cancer misinformation circulating around popular sites like YouTube and Facebook, patients may want to take a break from social media while on vacation and use the time to relax.

Eat healthily. Summer vacation often comes with a few treats here and there, but maintaining a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables is key. Check out local farmer’s markets or you-pick farms for a fun family activity and to get the freshest local produce available.

Not sure what to make? Check out summer recipes in the Summer issue of Heal®.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.