According to your medical record and clinical situation, your doctor will decide whether you should receive Chemotherapy in injected form at the Hospital, or at home with pills which will be given to you.
The chemotherapy drugs enter your blood circulation and are rejected through our body’s biological fluids. The type of medication administered is that which defines how long this cleansing procedure might take.
The highest concentration of secretions usually happens during infusion and within the first 48 hours after chemotherapy. The biological fluids in which drugs are found are blood, urine, feces, tears, saliva, vomit, sweat, semen and vaginal fluids.
Protective measures during chemotherapy and for 48 hours thereafter:
- After using the toilet, make sure you close the lid and then flush twice for a better and more hygienic cleaning.
- It is more safer that men and women sit on the toilet, in order to avoid splashing, which could be infectious for other people.
- After using the toilet, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water (not hot) and plenty of soap.
- Use paper wipes to dry your hands.
- If you had to throw-up in the toilet, make sure to press the flush twice, and clean the external surface with water and soap or antiseptic wipes. If you used a container to vomit in, empty it into the toilet and again flush twice. It’s better if you have one-use containers, and only for yourself.
- The person who helps you with your personal hygiene should always wear one-use gloves and clean hands thoroughly after discarding them. If that person, by mistake, should touch any of your body fluids, immediate cleansing, again with soap and water, of that area is necessary.
- Wash your close separately from those of other members of your family. Use the most comprehensive program on your washing machine. Do not hand-wash.
- Use a condom for all sexual interactions.
- All one-use gloves, sanitary napkins and diapers must be placed in a plastic disposable bag and tightly tied before being dispersed to waste collection.
- Pregnant and breast-feeding mothers should avoid contact with anything which might have been touched by a patient undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Further treatment measures for chemotherapy taken orally with pills
- Store all chemotherapy medication in a safe place, away from children and home pets. Always follow your pharmacist’s instructions.
- There is a yellow sticker on every box with chemotherapy drugs, with the following warning: Σε κάθε κουτί με φάρμακα χημειοθεραπείας τοποθετείται από το φαρμακείο κίτρινη αυτοκόλλητη ετικέτα με την ένδειξη.
CYSTROSTATIC DRUGS – CAUTION WHEN USING – ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTIVE GLOVES
- After taking your chemotherapy pills, wash your hands with soap and water.
- If the pill is given to you by another person, ask him or her to wear gloves and to hand it to you, or place it in a small cap so you can take it yourself.
- If you have difficulty in swallowing the pill, you must tell your doctor about it. You should not break-up thew pills, or remove the gelatin capsule if it has a coating. All pills must be swallowed in whole, and must not be chewed or broken into pieces.
- If you get ill and throw-up having taken your medication, don’t take another pill or capsule. Call your doctor.
- Do the same, ie contact you doctor, if by mistake you should take more medication than that which has been subscribed to you.
- If you have completed your sessions/cycles, and some medication has not been used, return it to the pharmacy. They know how to deal with unused medicine. You must never throw chemotherapy drugs away, neither in the toilet, nor in a waste-bin.
It is important for you to know however that chemotherapy is not transmitted from person to person.
You are free to hug and kiss your beloved ones.
Just follow the tips we have just given you, and all will be fine. There is no need to be afraid. Just a bit cautious.