Anyone else scared of the sun?

I was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma in 2020. I was lucky in that it was caught early and fully removed. I had another biopsy last month which showed abnormalities but they weren't yet malignant. So I guess I've got cancer on the brain again.

It's 22 degrees today and clear skies, I just left all my friends at a day festival because I was just so anxious about being out in the sun, despite my P20 50+ suncream. Does anyone else get really nervous about spending time in the sun? 

  • Hi  and a very warm welcome to the online community which I hope you'll find is both an informative and supportive place to be.

    When I was first diagnosed with malignant melanoma I too was worried about how to behave outside and tried to stay in the shade all the time even to the extent of crossing the road to avoid the sun! I got rid of these vampire tendencies the following summer and now know that being sensible in the sun doesn't mean that you have to stop doing things you used to enjoy doing, unless that was sunbathing, but you do need to change some things to protect yourself. I don't know what advice your dermatologist has given you but the generally accepted 'rules' are:

    1. Stay out of the sun during the strongest time of the day (11am to 3pm) between April and October inclusive in the UK and in all months of the year in any other part of the world
    2. When going outside wear long sleeved tops and trousers/skirts made from natural fibres like cotton
    3. Wear a broad brimmed hat (brim should be at least 3 inches) and sun glasses
    4. Sit in the shade and never sunbathe 
    5. Any part of your body that is not covered, ie face, neck, back of hands should have a sun protection cream of SPF 50 that is effective against both UVA and UVB rays
    6. Re-apply the sunscreen as directed on the bottle
    7. Never use sunbeds
    8. Don't use sunscreen instead of covering up

    The first summer after I was diagnosed was particularly hard as I used to enjoy sitting in the sun. However, I quickly got used to the new regime and have a selection of hats to choose from when I go out. I also decided that I now needed a whole new wardrobe so went on a shopping spree. So, every cloud has a silver lining!

    I haven't had 'beach' holidays since being diagnosed but do still go on holiday. Now I tend to choose destinations where I can sight see, etc. However, a couple of year ago I did visit my sister in Australia and while there we had a 3 day mini break to a resort. I did go in the sea for short spells but then sat in the shade once out rather than in the sun. It seemed easier to be covered up in Australia as everyone is aware of how dangerous the sun can be and no one looks twice at someone wearing a hat because they all are too! 

    I hope that helps a little 

    x

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