Summer is heating up and that can play a role in cancer treatment side effects. While going through lung cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapies or surgery, it is important to find ways to escape the heat. Here are some helpful tips to keep you cool in the hotter months.
- Stay hydrated! – Staying hydrated is not only one of the most important rules during cancer treatment, but it is also one of the hardest to follow. Many forms of cancer treatment, like chemotherapy and radiation, are already dehydrating and the hot weather makes it worse. Fight dehydration by drinking more fluids, especially ones that replenish electrolytes, like Gatorade or coconut water. And, if you are not already receiving IV fluids during your infusion visits, ask your doctor about this hydration option.
- Dodge the Heat – During hot months, air conditioning is your friend! Avoid going outdoors between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm (the hottest hours of the day) or if the temperature is above 85 degrees. Consider taking your daily walk through a museum or enjoy the quiet and cool of a movie theater for the afternoon.
- No Excuses – We know it is tough, but staying active is important during your treatment. Not only will it keep your body strong, but it also helps with treatment side effects, like constipation. Move your daily, weekly or occasional exercise routine indoors where it is cool. Consider joining a local gym for the summer months.
- Eat the Right Food – Try eating food with higher water concentration. Eating dense fruits and vegetables (most contain 80-90% water) such as watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, beets, carrots or celery with a meal or snack is one of the easiest ways to improve your hydration.
- Dress for Success – If you do need to go outdoors on a hot day, make sure to dress appropriately. Wearing light colors and loose clothes can make sun time more bearable. Additionally, be sure to protect your skin by wearing hats, using sunscreen and carrying an umbrella so you always have shade.
For more tips or other questions you may have about your lung cancer treatment (or anything else lung cancer related!), call our HelpLine at 1-800-298-2436.