- Cancer Information
- Living well
- Nutrition and cancer
- Treatment side effects and nutrition
- Lowered immunity
Cancer and some treatments (such as chemotherapy and stem cell transplants) can weaken the body’s immune system by affecting white blood cells that protect against infection. If you are having these treatments, you will be encouraged to take care preparing food, because this lowered immunity can make you more prone to foodborne illness.
- Wash your hands and knives, cutting boards and food preparation areas thoroughly with hot soapy water before and after cooking.
- Take care when eating out, as it can be difficult to know whether food safety guidelines are being followed. Where possible, ask for meals to be made fresh and avoid pre-prepared foods that have been sitting for unknown periods of time.
Precautions to take
|seafood||eat well- cooked fresh seafood||
|cold meats||store home- cooked cold meats in fridge||
|sandwich||eat freshly made||
Jenelle Loeliger, Head of Nutrition and Speech Pathology Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rebecca Blower, Public Health Advisor, Cancer Prevention, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Julia Davenport, Consumer; Irene Deftereos, Senior Dietitian, Western Health, VIC; Lynda Menzies, A/Senior Dietitian – Cancer Care (APD), Sunshine Coast University Hospital, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Janice Savage, Consumer.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment
What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads
Learn about the different treatments that are used to treat cancer, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy
View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends