Cancer, and the treatments for it, can sometimes have a negative effect on your
immune system. The
immune system is the body's way of protecting us from viruses and infections. Therefore if you are having cancer treatment, it is important to take a few extra precautions to avoid infections and illnesses:
Although it is important to see friends and family, and get outside for some fresh air, it is a good idea to avoid people that you know have colds, flu, sore throats,
vomiting or any type of viral infection. Plus, try to avoid crowded public places, such as shopping centers.
If it's cold outside, make sure that you dress warmly, including wearing a hat, wig or scarf if you have lost your hair, to avoid getting cold.
Avoid swimming pools and jacuzzis because it is easy to pick up an infection from the water or the changing rooms.
Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet, before you prepare food, and after stroking pets.
If you have a central line (thin tube that is inserted under the skin of your chest into a
vein) or a PICC line (a tube inserted into a
vein in your arm), you will need to look after it and keep it clean to avoid damage or infection. Your hospital or district nurse will be able to give you advice and suitable dressings.
Try to drink plenty of fluids, and eat a healthy balanced diet, as these will both help to prevent infection.
Contact your doctor or hospital right away if your temperature goes above 38C (100.5F) or you suddenly feel sick, as you may have an infection.
If you have an infection, you may need to be treated with
antibiotics, either in tablet form, or by a
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your
physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere.
If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.