Preventing Infection for Cancer Patients
Lots to say here but let's focus on a couple of low hanging fruit items on the preventing-infection list.
- First - Chemo, radiation, surgery treatments make the patient immunocompromised. This means that the body cannot fight off bacteria and viruses as well as usual.
- Second - most bacterial and viral disease is transmitted by the simple act of your hands touching your face, mouth, nose, eyes and ears.
- Third - infections transmitted through the air and breathing, sneezing coughing, etc.
We discussed many other type of infection management tools in our Cancer Care Guide and in our product descriptions.
There's lots of information about this topic out there so we are limiting ourselves to this for now.
Hand Sanitizer Wipes
Basically, it is recommended to wash your hands by following a correct technique every time you go to touch your face or anything that will be in contact with your face. If in doubt, wash anyway. It's incredibly effective and simple. If you cannot move much or are in a rush, hand sanitizer liquid or towelette wipes like those we have in the Appointment Care Package and other kits are a good, yet imperfect substitute. Washing is better at removing debris but sanitizer helps if you can't wash. This is why we decided on the wipes rather than the gel. The wipes can remove more physical debris.
Ear Loop Surgical Face Masks
The hands are a main source of transmitting germs that cause infections.
Breathing, sneezing, coughing, spitting are other main sources of infection.
Wearing the mask yourself is an effective protection from breathing in germs. More importantly, having your guests wear masks, especially if they are knowingly or unknowingly carrying a flu or cold, is very helpful. It's a bit awkward as wearing a mask is uncustomary in the regular day-to-day but it's easy to forget you are wearing one.
PUR Xylitol Mints
The Benefits of Xylitol are many. Essentially, It's a simple and effective superhero for the mouth. Where to start... Xylitol is a natural sugar-alcohol (diabetics can have these mints). It is a great sugar substitute that is not artificial.
Xylitol acts like a Trojan horse for oral bacteria which confuses it for its regular food, sugar. Happily, bacteria is not able to digest this type of sugar. So when it is eaten, bacteria starves and is killed off. This brings the pH (the acidity level) of the mouth to a more neutral environment helping to prevent cavities (which are caused by acidity).
Xylitol also increases saliva flow which helps with dry-mouth. Saliva exposes teeth to healing minerals helping the mouth to naturally prevent and re-calcify current potential cavities. You will notice that your teeth feel smoother after enjoying a mint. Xylitol is recommended by Hygienists and Dentists.
Peppermint, in addition, naturally slows digestion down which can soothe the stomach when upset, calms nausea and cools the body internally.
*Note: Xylitol is a naturally mild diarrhetic in higher doses, so experiment and start off slow. 20 mints, 22g, .8oz
Organic Chamomile tea
Natural sleeping aids are great to experiment with. If they work, great!
Chamomile is one of those plant-of-many-tricks that is considered safe by medical professionals. From calming nerves and stomach, it has been used for centuries. Specifically, chamomile is a non-caffeinated, stress-relieving plant. It is also recommended to be used as a mouth rinse to swish with - helping relieve mouth sores.
"By using the highest quality herbs, there is no need to include any artificial or natural flavoring. Enjoy your tea the way nature intended". Buddha Teas wrote this on the tea bags. Makes sense.
The bags are unbleached as well which was something we went out of the way to find,
drinking chlorine sucks.
Organic European Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is widely used for nausea management.
"Some people find that peppermint helps with sickness. It is thought that it helps to slow down the gut". cancerresearchuk.org
Peppermint has long been used to calm upset stomach and vomiting. The peppermint is also said to cool the body from the inside-out. Buddha Teas are the brand we chose because of the Organic tea and the non-bleached bags. They use European Peppermint which boasts the mintiest peppermint that Buddha Teas could find.
Detail about the items in our kits and why we chose them