Chemotherapy, Home Care - Fairview Health Services
 
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Home Care After Chemotherapy

Meals

Many patients feel sick and lose their appetites during treatment. Eat small meals several times a day. Choose bland foods with little taste or smell if you have problems with nausea. Be sure to cook all food thoroughly. This kills bacteria and helps you avoid intestinal infection. Soft foods are easier to swallow and digest.

Activity

Exercise keeps you strong and keeps your heart and lungs active. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate exercise program for you.

Skin Care

To prevent a skin infection, bathe or shower once a day. Use a moisturizing soap and wash with warm water. Avoid very hot or cold water. Chemotherapy can make your skin dry . Apply moisturizing lotion to help relieve dry skin. Some drugs used in high doses can cause slight burns to appear (like sunburn). Ask for a special cream to help relieve the burn and protect your skin.

Prevent Mouth Sores

During chemotherapy, many people get mouth sores. Do the following to help prevent mouth sores or to ease discomfort.

  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush after every meal.

  • Don't use dental floss if your platelet count is below 50,000. Your doctor or nurse will tell you if this is the case.

  • Use an oral swab or special soft toothbrush if your gums bleed during regular brushing.

  • Use mouthwash as directed. If you can't tolerate commercial mouthwash, use salt and baking soda to clean your mouth. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water. Swish and spit.

Call Your Doctor Or Return To This Facility If You Develop Any Of The Following:

  • Sore throat

  • White patches in the mouth or throat

  • Fever of  100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

 

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