Discover the 3 Steps

Vertical Tabs

Step 1: Prepare

The following steps will provide you with helpful tips on how you can prevent infections. Keep this information close at hand. You can print this page out and post it on your refrigerator or bulletin board. You can also cut out the card at the bottom of the printout to keep your doctor’s phone numbers with you at all times as well as help you know what to do if you have to go to the emergency room.

Watch Out For Fever!

You should take your temperature any time you feel warm, flushed, chilled, or not well. If you get a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher for more than one hour, or one-time temperature of 101° F or higher, call your doctor immediately, even if it is the middle of the night. DO NOT wait until the office re–opens before you call.

You should also:

  • Find out from your doctor when your white blood cell count is likely to be at its lowest since this is when you’re most at risk for infection (also called nadir).
  • Keep a working thermometer in a convenient location and know how to use it.
  • Keep your doctor’s phone numbers with you at all times. Make sure you know what number to call when their office is open and closed.
  • If you have to go to the emergency room, it’s important that you tell the person checking you in that you are a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy. If you have a fever, you might have an infection. This can be a life-threatening condition, and you should be seen in a short amount of time.

Why It’s Important

  • If you develop a fever during your chemotherapy treatment, it can be a medical emergency.
  • Fever may be the only sign that you have an infection and an infection during chemotherapy can be life threatening.

We recommend completing the RISK ASSESSMENT first to get the most accurate picture of your risk so that we can provide you with helpful tips on how you can prevent infections.


Step 2: Prevent >

"Discover the 3 Steps"
Quick Reference Sheet

Keep this information close at hand. You can print this page out and post it on your refrigerator or bulletin board. You can also cut out the card at the bottom of the printout to keep your doctor’s phone numbers with you at all times as well as help you know what to do if you have to go to the emergency room.

Program Materials

To help raise awareness about the importance of preventing infections in cancer patients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a variety of resources for patients as well as for use in provider’s offices, patient rooms, and work areas. These resources include posters, fact sheets, post cards, videos, and more. View Materials >

"I never thought seriously about the risk of infection until I was hospitalized and unable to fight a fever. It’s so important to understand what steps you can take to help protect yourself."Donna Deegan, News AnchorBreast Cancer Survivor 

Find Out Your Risk Now >