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Prevent: Clean Your Hands

Photo of a person washing hands

Clean hands help prevent infections. Many diseases are spread by not cleaning your hands, which is especially dangerous when you’re getting chemotherapy treatment because your body may not be able to fight off infections like it used to. You and anyone who comes around you, including all members of your household, your doctors, and nurses, should clean their hands frequently. Don’t be afraid to ask people to clean their hands. Use soap and water to wash your hands. If soap and water aren't available, it’s OK to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Be sure to clean your hands—

  • Before, during, and after cooking food.
  • Before you eat.
  • After going to the bathroom.
  • After changing diapers or helping a child use the bathroom.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • After touching or cleaning up after your pet.
  • After touching trash.
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound or caring for your catheter, port, or other access device.