Hopefully, your oncologist has told you that cancer survivors who undergo chemotherapy can be at greater risk of infections. This is because chemotherapy drugs can damage white blood cells, the cells that fight infection. Take extra precautions as the cold and flu season arrives because catching one of these nasty bugs could set you up for a serious infection that could interfere with your treatment schedule.
- Wash your hands often, especially before eating, after using the bathroom, and after touching items handled by other people;
- At your next treatment ask your onco about receiving a flu shot. Call your onco if you don't have an appointment soon. Getting this shot is very important for your good health this winter.
- Ask your onco about your immediate family members getting the flu shot also.
- avoid people who have a cold or the flu and children who have been recently immunized. Ask your doctor whether you should receive immunizations while you are undergoing chemotherapy treatments;
- be careful when using everyday items like scissors and nail clippers. Use an electric shaver instead of a razor to avoid cuts;
- Take a warm bath or sponge bath every day. Pat dry; don't rub your skin roughly.
- Clean cuts thoroughly with antiseptic and bandage them.
Your higher-than-normal risk of infection can continue for several months after treatment ends, so it's important to remain cautious even after you've finished all of your chemotherapy treatments.
Post Edited (debbiR) : 11/7/2006 9:22:30 AM (GMT-7)