Healthy Living

How to Prepare for Chemotherapy

How to Prepare for Chemotherapy

How to prepare for chemotherapy

For people who are scheduled to undergo chemotherapy, there are a number of things that should be done to prepare for the procedure. Preparing for chemotherapy can benefit you for both during the procedure and after the procedure. As a result, preparation steps vary in different ways.

All of the aspects of preparation for chemotherapy aim to ensure that the procedure is done without any problems and is successful. The preparation process also ensures that you will be as healthy as possible after the procedure, which will allow you to recover as fast as possible.

Have a question aboutChemotherapy?Ask a doctor now


Steps for preparing for chemotherapy

Health preparations

Since the process can be easily interrupted by a number of health issues in the body, a doctor is obligated to advise you on the best health program in advance of the chemotherapy procedure. This health plan will tell you what to do and what to avoid. Here are some of the general steps you can take in terms of health preparations.

Radiologic tests: These are mostly referred to as radiological imaging tests which may include a CT scan, PET scan, X-ray, MRI and ultrasound. The tests are done by your doctor both before, during and after chemotherapy to make sure that your body is able to respond to the treatment. They are tests that take a lot of time, but are necessary in assessing your health.

Podiatric evaluation: This is always advisable to patients who have problems with diabetes, wound healing problems and poor blood circulation. If you are one of these people then you should request for a podiatric evaluation before undergoing the procedure. Chemotherapy is known to affect other parts of the body like the skin and nails, so it is important to address any issues associated with these areas before the procedure.

Blood tests: Depending on the blood levels and other mechanisms in the body, treatment through chemotherapy can work either effectively or poorly. As a result of this, many doctors will do blood tests prior to the operation. This is always important since it helps to determine how much the body will respond to the treatment. The focus is mostly on cancer markers in the body.

Dental examinations: Chemotherapy is known to affect the teeth when necessary care is not taken. As a result of this, there is a need for dental examination before the procedure. Visiting a dentist will help you receive tests to determine any infections which may cause complications during the process. This also helps the doctor to advise you on how to take care of yourself during, before and after the operation.

Resting: Resting is equally a health concern that should be taken into consideration before one undergoes chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a process that is always accompanied by several side effects, including feeling weak. To make sure that you are strong and fit for the procedure, you are advised to take plenty of rest before the procedure. This enables the body to relax and build strength at the same time.

Lifestyle: People who are scheduled to undergo chemotherapy are advised to adapt a certain lifestyle that will ensure safety during the process. It is also meant to strengthen the body, reduce any complications and speed up recovery after the operation. There are foods and other substances one should take, while there are also foods and substances that should be avoided.

Reduce contact with people: You are advised to reduce your contact with people especially if they are strangers. The main objective for this precaution is to ensure that you are safe from communicable infections. Chemotherapy can bring dangerous complications especially if you have other underlying infections. As a result, make sure you do not contract any infections as you approach your day for the procedure. Most of the mechanisms provided to ensure that you do not contract any infections is through a no-kiss and no-handshake policy.

Practice safe sex: To reduce the chance of getting any infections as you approach the procedure, in most cases you are advised to practice safe sex by use of condoms. This helps to reduce the chances of getting a sexually transmitted infection.

Avoid smoking: The biggest concern with smoking is cancer. According to research, certain cancer types lead to development of more cancerous conditions or recurring of the previous ones. Avoiding smoking not only reduces the chances of getting cancer but also gives your body a chance to build strength, which is very important during chemotherapy.

Eating healthy: Chemotherapy is a procedure that is known to leave the body very weak in a large majority of cases if not all cases. In addition, it also leads to other minor side effects. The body thus requires a lot of strength to undergo the procedure. This strength is also used for recovery afterwards. You are advised to eat a balanced diet to ensure that the body is strong and healthy.


Other preparation measures for chemotherapy

Apart from the methods listed above, there are other various methods that can be applied in the preparation for chemotherapy. They may include the following:

  • Report any medications to your doctor. If you are taking antioxidants, over the counter medications, or any other type of medications you are required to visit your doctor for advice. Some of these drugs interfere with the procedure which can be dangerous.
  • It is a good idea to save up money to cater for other arising issues for when you prepare, undergo the procedure, and for needs after chemotherapy. There are a number of things for example that you are supposed to buy and will be suggested by your doctor.
  • Plan your transportation in advance. Schedule a cab or driver to pick you up, or ask a family member or friend to drive you home because you will not be able to drive immediately after undergoing chemotherapy. 
  • Ensure that you have someone to take care of you at home. In most cases, people are not able to do much after the procedure. As a result, you should have a housekeeper, caretaker, health care professional, family member or friend help you at home.



Chemotherapy is a treatment process that requires a lot of care from both the patient and the treating doctor. Any mistake made can lead to serious complications and effects are dangerous. You are hence advised to undertake all the necessary preparations before you undergo the intense process.