About the Program
Studies show that 10% of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment end up hospitalized due to infection, and every two hours a patient dies from this complication. Because of the nature of their illness, great attention to infection prevention is warranted in the care of cancer patients.
Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients is a comprehensive program focused on providing information, action steps, and tools to help reduce the risk of developing potentially life-threatening infections during chemotherapy treatment. Through the program, CDC developed the following tools—
- A Web site called 3 Steps Toward Preventing Infections During Cancer Treatment. This site features an evidence-based, interactive program that helps assess a cancer patient’s risk for getting a low white blood cell count during chemotherapy and subsequent infections. The site also features educational resources, including health tip sheets on a variety of topics.
- Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings. This plan includes key policies and procedures needed to meet minimal requirements for patient safety. Outpatient oncology facilities without a plan are encouraged to use this document as a starting point.
Dunbar A, Tai E, Nielsen DB, Shropshire S, Richardson LC. Preventing infections during cancer treatment. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing 2014;18(4):426–431.
CDC produced materials to help promote awareness about the importance of preventing infections in cancer patients. The fact sheet is intended for patients and caregivers. The posters can be placed in patient waiting areas, staff lounges, emergency rooms, and anywhere that patients and health care providers might view them. Selected materials can be ordered in limited quantities.
- Emergency Room Personnel poster [PDF-401KB]
High-resolution version for printing [PDF-9MB]
- Cancer Is a Fight. Don't Let the Flu Knock You Down poster [PDF-1.5MB]
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind poster [PDF-185KB]
High-resolution version for printing [PDF-181KB]
Preventing Infections Health Tip Sheets
- Basic Hygiene Practices
- Caring for Children with Cancer
- Caring for Your Catheter
- Caring for Your Pet
- Food and Kitchen Safety
- Friends, Family, and Public Places
- Gardening and Housekeeping
- Signs and Symptoms of Infections
- Understanding the Effects of a Low White Blood Cell Count
- Understanding Your Risk for Infection During Chemotherapy
- Vaccinations and the Flu
- Neutropenia and Risk for Infection: What You Need to Know fact sheet [PDF-174KB]
High-resolution version for printing [PDF-173KB]
- Cancer Is a Fight. Don't Let the Flu Knock You Down postcard [PDF-3.5MB]
- Prevent Infections During Chemotherapy podcast [2:52]
- CDC Expert Commentary: Protect Outpatient Oncology Patients from Infections by Alice Guh, MD, MPH
- Having Cancer Is Scary Enough—Don't Let an Infection Creep In health-e-card
- Someone I Love Has Cancer health-e-card
- 3 Steps Toward Preventing Infections During Cancer Treatment Web site
You can copy and paste the code to embed these buttons and badges in your Web site, social network profile, or blog.