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Staying Healthy During Cancer Treatment

  • Category: Cancer
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Frederick Health
Staying Healthy During Cancer Treatment

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing moment for you and your loved ones. After understanding the type of cancer you or your loved one has been diagnosed with, you may be left with concerns like how to care for a child or adult with cancer, possible side effects, when to get screened, and more.

If the cancer is treated with chemotherapy, you are more likely to get infections because chemotherapy weakens your immune system. Your white blood cells are reduced, which makes it harder for your body to fight infections. Here’s how to stay healthy during treatment:

  • Wash your hands: When you don’t wash your hands regularly, diseases spread. When you get chemotherapy, you must be mindful of this because not washing your hands often could lead to illness.
  • Check for a fever: If you feel warm or not well, check your temperature. Call your doctor if your temperature is 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher.
  • Look for signs of infection: If you have an infection during treatment, you will have to go to the hospital. If you have a fever, chills, sweats, a stiff neck, or a sore throat, call your doctor.

Get Screened

Cancer screenings help to identify cancer before you have symptoms, allowing your doctor to find and treat cancer early. Getting regular screenings may help you uncover such cancers as:

  • Breast cancer - Mammograms help detect breast cancer early.
  • Cervical cancer - Pap tests can find and treat cervical cancer and find abnormal cells that could turn into cancer.
  • Colon cancer - Screenings can help your doctor find and remove precancerous cells before they turn into cancer.

Caring for a Child Who Has Cancer

Leukemia is the most common cancer found in children. If your child has leukemia, they may feel tired, weak, experience bone and joint pain, and more. As a parent, it’s important to work with your child’s doctor to understand what works best for them as cancer affects each child differently. Here are some ways to help:

  • Side Effects - If your child has side effects with treatment, talk with their doctor to learn how you can help prevent infection, reduce pain, and support their diet.
  • Physical Changes - If your child has hair loss during treatment, help them find creative wigs, hats, or scarfs to wear. If your child loses weight, work with their doctors to find a meal plan that will keep them strong and healthy.
  • Stay Connected - Help your child find a support group and keep up communications with friends and family. Getting help from people your child knows can be really encouraging for them during treatment.

September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This is a time to recognize and support those who are affected by childhood cancers. This month—and throughout the year— we honor the children battling cancer and the people who care for them.

Tools for Caregivers

Some cancer treatments may be handled at an outpatient center. As a caregiver of a cancer patient, you have an important role. Your support makes sure your loved one’s physical and emotional needs are taken care of each day. If you are caring for a loved one with cancer, here are some ways you can support them:

  • Work with Doctors - Make sure you understand your new role as a caregiver. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved one’s doctor the questions you need answered to better support them during treatment.
  • Get Help - Try not to do it all yourself. Ask your family and friends for help so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
  • Take Care of Yourself, Too - Find time to relax, keep up with your own routine, and take time to think about how you feel in this new role. When you’re healthy, you’re able to take better care of your loved one.

Your family is not alone during such a sensitive time. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer, Frederick Health is here to help. Visit to learn more about how we can support your family through cancer treatment.