• Avoid Raw Meat and Seafood: To prevent food-borne illnesses, avoid uncooked meats like sushi and rare steaks. For some patients, raw fruits and vegetables might also be off-limits.

  • Steer Clear of Certain Foods: Foods that are hard, spicy, or acidic can worsen mouth sores, a common side effect of chemotherapy. Cold drinks and frozen treats might also cause discomfort.

  • Be Cautious with New Medications and Supplements: Don’t start any new supplements or medications without consulting your care team, as they might interact with chemotherapy drugs.

  • Refrain from Smoking and Drinking Alcohol: Both can strain the liver and exacerbate chemotherapy side effects, so it's best to avoid them.

  • Limit UV Exposure: Chemotherapy can increase sun sensitivity, so wear protective clothing and sunscreen, and avoid peak sunlight hours.

  • Practice Safe Sex and Birth Control: Use effective contraception to prevent pregnancy and barrier protection to shield partners from chemotherapy drug exposure.

  • Caregivers’ Precautions: If handling a patient’s laundry or medications, caregivers should use gloves to avoid direct contact with chemotherapy drugs.

  • Avoid Contact with Sick Individuals: Chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, so wear a mask and avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Don’t Overexert Yourself: Chemotherapy often causes fatigue. Listen to your body and rest when needed, rather than pushing through exhaustion.

MD Anderson Cancer Center