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Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients

Photo of a woman and a nurse

Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients is a campaign focused on providing resources that will help reduce the risk of developing potentially life-threatening infections during chemotherapy treatment.

People receiving chemotherapy are at risk for getting an infection when their white blood cell count is low. White blood cells are the body’s main defense against infection. This condition, called neutropenia, is common after chemotherapy. For patients with this condition, any infection can become serious quickly.

To help educate about this topic, CDC developed the following tools for patients, caregivers, and health care providers—

  • A website that 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 later 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.
  • Educational materials like fact sheets, posters, infographics, and more.

Featured Resources

Fight Back! Get Your Flu Shot poster

Health care providers: Display our “Fight Back! Get Your Flu Shot” poster [PDF-1.5MB] in your office as a reminder for cancer patients.

Three Steps Quick Reference Sheet

Patients: This fact sheet [PDF-174KB] explains three important steps to take during chemotherapy treatment.

Cancer Caregivers: A Chemo Side Effect You Should Know About: Neutropenia

Caregivers: Learn [PDF-1.2MB] what you can do to help your loved one during chemotherapy treatment.