Many people start chemotherapy following a cancer diagnosis. As well as causing side effects for the person taking it, chemotherapy can carry risks for family members.

How does chemotherapy affect family members?

Chemotherapy is a type of medicine that kills cancer cells and stops them from reproducing. People may take the medication intravenously or orally, with the course of treatment typically lasting several months. Doctors may recommend chemotherapy to people if there is a risk of cancer spreading or it has already started spreading.

People taking chemotherapy medication may have a higher risk of catching infections. It is, therefore, important that family or household members take precautions to reduce the risk of spreading infections.

They should also take precautions to avoid close contact with chemotherapy drugs, as this could be hazardous to health.