Food Safety for People with Cancer

Food safety is very important for people with cancer because treatment can affect their immune system, making them more prone to foodborne illness. Share these tips with a loved one today.

What is World Cancer Day?
A truly global event taking place every year on 4 February, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer.

It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.

Why World Cancer Day is important

  • Currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years)
  • World Cancer Day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word and raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds and in the world’s media
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FDA – Food Safety for People with Cancer Guide

Food Safety for People with Cancer
As a cancer patient, your healthcare provider may have recommended that you take chemotherapy, radiation, or mediations to help fight your disease. A side effect of these therapies is that they may weaken your immune system. Cancer also may weaken your immune system over time due to its chronic disease process.

  • A properly functioning immune system works to clear infection and other foreign agents from the body. However, cancer and its treatments can weaken your immune system – making you more susceptible to many types of infections.  These infections include those that can be brought on by disease-causing bacteria and other pathogens that cause foodborne illness.
  • Because you have cancer and are receiving cancer treatment, you are more likely to have a lengthier illness, undergo hospitalization, or even die, should you contract a foodborne illness.
  • To avoid contracting a foodborne illness, you must be vigilant when handling, preparing, and consuming foods.  

Make safe handling a lifelong commitment to minimize your risk of foodborne illness. Be aware that as you age, your immunity to infection naturally is weakened.

Food Safety for People with Cancer Infographic

Food Safety for People with Cancer

Additional Food Safety Resources