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What can you do to prevent infections while getting breast cancer treatment?

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Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for breast cancer can stop your body from making white blood cells, which fight infections. Avoid large crowds and stay away from sick people for 7 to 10 days after you have chemo. That's when you usually have the fewest white blood cells.

If you get sick, some doctors prescribe antibiotics as a precaution. Others suggest getting a flu shot before you start chemo.

If your white blood cell counts are too low, your doctor may give you a treatment called G-CSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor -- Neulasta or Neupogen) or GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor -- Leukine).

SOURCES: American Cancer Society. National Cancer Institute.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 27, 2017

SOURCES: American Cancer Society. National Cancer Institute.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 27, 2017

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When should you call your doctor about the side effects of breast cancer treatment?

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