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Julie Wilkinson, BSN, RN

Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands

By January 31, 2013

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As many of you have probably already observed first hand, flu and cold season is upon us. I've many a sick friend out of work and a few of them have been off for weeks. The average, healthy adult probably won't worry too much about catching the flu, but anyone with colon cancer - active or in remission - should take this threat seriously.

A cough here or a sneeze there don't provoke much concern for the average healthy adult. However, if you have had or are being treated for colon cancer, you have to protect your immune system. There are many ways to protect yourself without isolating your existence. Here are some simple ways:

  • Wash, wash, wash your hands. Wash them after any contact with pets, before eating, and after toileting for starters.
  • Do not touch your nose, eyes or mouth without washing your hands first. A simple rub of the nose could spread unwanted germs if you haven't properly cleaned your hands first.
  • Avoid crowded areas like the plague. I understand you want to attend your grandson's first grade performance, but an auditorium full of sneezing 6-year-olds may be harmful to your health. The flu and many other colds are most commonly spread through airborne droplets - a sneeze can travel many feet. Think about that the next time you're in line at the grocery store.
  • Follow up with your doctor regularly if you are undergoing active treatment for colon cancer. Both chemotherapy and radiation can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to the otherwise innocuous head cold.

When in doubt, ask your doctor. He or she can advise you how to maintain your health and protect yourself against the bacteria and viruses running rampant this season.

February 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm
(1) HealthyHands says:

Having lost family members to cancer, it’s depressing how vulnerable someone can become as (any) disease progresses. Washing your hands can protect not only yourself, but also a loved one. Good information.

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