En Español: Tools to Help Prevent Infections in Cancer Patients


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The CDC Foundation is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients program by launching new bilingual resources to improve support for Latino and all cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

How Infection Can Happen During Cancer Treatment

If you are getting chemotherapy, you may be at risk for getting an infection.

This risk is highest when your white blood cell count is at its lowest (called neutropenia). White blood cells are the body’s main defense against infections. An infection during chemotherapy can lead to treatment delays, hospitalization, and sometimes death.

About 650,000 U.S. cancer patients get chemotherapy in an outpatient oncology clinic each year. More than 100,000 are hospitalized because of an infection, according to the CDC.

Latino populations are especially affected.

“With one in three Hispanic men and women being diagnosed with cancer each year and few Spanish-language resources existing on this topic, we believe it is important to provide this information to the Hispanic community,” said Dr. Judith Monroe, head of the CDC Foundation, in a statement.

Preventing Infection: Bilingual Website

Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients Wesbite En EspanolThe Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients program aims to help lower the risk of infection during chemotherapy. They do this by providing resources and tips to patients, caregivers, and oncology providers.

People have downloaded more than 1.5 million resources from the program website in English and Spanish.

“Our tools harness the power of pairing evidence-based content with easily-understandable resources in English and Spanish,” Monroe said. “We’re thrilled by how we’ve been able to help people going through cancer treatment.”

Preventing Infection: Bilingual Virtual Healthcare Provider Tool

The Preventing Infections program also has a new interactive online tool that uses the power of gaming technology to create an engaging and educational experience with a virtual physician.

Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients TINA Tool En EspanolThe tool is called TINA (Talking about Infection & Neutropenia Awareness).

TINA is available in English and Spanish to help patients learn about neutropenia. It also offers a role-playing and training opportunity in English for providers to develop best practices for communicating with their patients.

Data show that TINA gives patients a greater understanding and comfort with the risks of neutropenia and infection, and what they can do to stay safe.

“Chemotherapy treatment introduces a dangerous risk of infection for cancer patients,” said Dr. Darryl Sleep of Amgen Oncology, which supports the Preventing Infections program, in a statement. “The [Preventing Infections] program has made a meaningful difference by providing resources that truly help improve the cancer patient experience.”

Preventing Infection: Public Service Announcement

The PICP program also features some new public service announcements to prevent infection during chemotherapy.

The videos are in 15-second, 30-second, and 60-second versions.

Vivian Diaz-Espinosa, a cancer survivor and caregiver, is featured in each video. Vivian shares her compelling story in a CDC blog post.

“As a cancer caregiver to my dad and now a cancer survivor myself, I encourage you to take 10 minutes today to check out these resources if you or someone you love has cancer,” she writes.

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