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Some chemotherapy for treatment of pediatric cancer can be given by mouth at home. Oral medicines are convenient. However, there are important safety precautions to consider when taking chemotherapy into the home.
Chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells, but it may also harm normal cells in the body. These medicines can sometimes be absorbed through the skin or breathed in through the lungs. Family members can also be exposed to chemotherapy if the drugs come into contact with foods or everyday surfaces in the home.
It is important for family members and caregivers to handle chemotherapy carefully and take steps to reduce exposure. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid all contact with these drugs.
All chemotherapy drugs that are brought into the home should be thought of as a possible hazard. Simple steps can protect patients, family members, and caregivers from harm.
Reviewed: July 2018