Some breast cancer treatments can affect
fertility. If you wish to have a child after treatment ends, talk with
your health care provider (and if possible, a fertility specialist)
before treatment begins.
Learn more about fertility issues.
Chemotherapy can weaken your immune system, so it is important to consider a few things before starting treatment.
If your treatment will occur during flu
season, it is important to get a flu shot before treatment begins. The
flu shot now protects against the seasonal flu and H1N1 (swine) flu. To
learn more, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Women may wish to have a gynecological
exam before starting chemotherapy. A positive result on a Pap test (Pap
smear) almost always requires a slightly invasive follow-up procedure.
Because chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, this procedure should
take place before treatment begins.
Chemotherapy can also interfere with the results of a Pap test.
You should postpone routine dental visits
until chemotherapy is over. Sometimes dental work can cause an
infection in your mouth. Infections can be harder to treat when your
immune system is weakened by chemotherapy.
If you have dental work or a cleaning
that cannot wait until after treatment ends, it’s best go to the dentist
before chemotherapy begins.
You should not feel the need to delay
travel. In general, it is safe to travel by plane, train or bus while
However, chemotherapy weakens your immune
system. If you travel while on chemotherapy, it’s a good idea to wash
your hands or use hand sanitizer often to try to avoid infection.
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