Preventing infections during chemotherapy

Your bone marrow makes white blood cells that help fight infection. Chemotherapy drugs can damage your bone marrow, reducing your body's ability to protect itself from bacteria, fungi and other infectious agents.

Here are some things you can do to lower your risk of infection while receiving chemotherapy:

Food safety

  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Cook meats and eggs all the way through.
  • Thoroughly wash fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Don't share food and food containers with others.

Personal care

  • Shower or bathe daily.
  • Apply lotion to your skin to prevent it from becoming dry and cracked. Bacteria can enter through a break in your skin.
  • If you scrape or cut your skin, clean the area immediately with soap and warm water, then cover it with a bandage.
  • Use a soft toothbrush when brushing your teeth.
Aug. 29, 2014 See more In-depth