Chemotherapy is a common treatment for cancer that uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells. While chemotherapy can be effective in treating cancer, it can also have side effects. There are several things that patients should avoid when getting chemotherapy to help minimize these side effects and ensure the best possible outcome.
Avoid Exposure to Infections
Chemotherapy can lower a person’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to infections. To avoid exposure to infections, patients should avoid crowded areas, wash their hands frequently, and avoid contact with people who are sick. It is also important to avoid eating undercooked or raw foods and to take extra precautions when handling and preparing food.
Avoid Certain Foods and Beverages
Some foods and beverages can interfere with chemotherapy and make side effects worse. Patients should often avoid alcohol, as it may interact with chemotherapy drugs or increase the risk of liver damage.
Chemotherapy can cause fatigue and weakness, making it important for patients to avoid overexertion. Patients should rest when they feel tired and avoid activities that require a lot of energy. It is also important to stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet to help maintain energy levels.
Smoking can interfere with chemotherapy and increase the risk of complications. Patients should avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, as it can weaken the immune system and reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Avoid Certain Medications
Some medications can interfere with chemotherapy and make side effects worse. Patients should talk to their doctor before taking any new medications, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements. Patients may also need to avoid taking aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as they can increase the risk of bleeding and interfere with chemotherapy.
Each person should speak with their oncology team for any specific suggestions or recommendations on things to avoid while receiving chemotherapy.