Cold Weather and Cancer

 
 

Cold weather can cause extra challenges to Cancer patients, due to the side effects of Cancer treatments and physical limitations as a result of a Cancer diagnosis.

In this article, we share some tips to help Cancer patients stay safe in cold weather.

 

  • Dress in warm layers. Wrap a scarf around your nose and mouth before you head out into the cold to avoid any breathing problems.
  • Wear a hat that covers your ears, and put on heavy gloves to protect your fingers.
  • Wear shoes or boots with good grip.
  • Make sure paths and driveways are cleared of snow and ice.
  • Walk like a penguin in the snow. Take flat-footed, short steps or shuffle for stability. Keep your arms at your sides and free, wear a backpack to keep your arms free to protect yourself if you fall.
  • Ask for—and accept—help with shoveling snow or running errands so you can avoid going out in inclement weather.

Conditions that can affect Cancer patients:

Falls may be dangerous:

Some Cancer treatments can cause numbness in the hands and feet, which may make a person unsteady on their feet.  Patients with blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma are at particular risk with a fall, thrombocytopenia is a condition in which there is a lower than normal amount of platelets in the blood. Platelets help blood clot, and having too few of them can lead to bruising or serious bleeding with an injury.

Hypothermia:

Side effects of treatment such as dehydration, fatigue and anemia can make you more sensitive to the cold and more susceptible to hypothermia. Hypothermia is a condition in which your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, dangerously lowering your temperature.

Frostbite:
Sometimes Chemotherapy can make you less sensitive to the cold, therefore not allowing you to feel how cold it really is. Frostbite can result as a result of the freezing of the skin.
If we can support you, contact our Cancer Support Centre on 012866966 or email info@purplehouse.ie