Top 10 Items You Need During Cancer Treatment

Going through cancer treatment can be life-altering. Treatment can cause fatigue, nausea, vomitting, inmobility, and more. Sometimes, it helps to have certain medical supplies to make things a little easier for you and your caregiver

This article reviews 10 medical products that may be useful to you or your caregiver. It discusses shower chairs, blanket support, inflatable shampoo basin, disposable wipes, pill pulverizer, nosey cups, bed trays, no-rinse personal care, bed wedges, and composite commodes. 

Shower Chairs

Handicap accessible shower with grab bars and a chair
abalcazar / Getty Images

You would be surprised at how much energy it takes to stand in the shower for 10 minutes or sit up in the bathtub when you are fatigued. Shower chairs make bathing easy and take very little energy from the patient.

This is a must-have item if you or your loved one is experiencing fatigue from cancer treatment.​

Blanket Lifter

When areas of the body are treated with radiation therapy, the skin can become very sensitive. Sometimes, even blankets are irritating. This device will hold the blanket away from the skin just enough to still keep the warmth of the blanket.

Inflatable Hair Wash Basin

Again, this is a great product if you are experiencing fatigue or are on bed rest. It's also helpful when you can't take a shower or raise your arms after surgery, such as certain types of mastectomies. This allows a caregiver to wash the patient's​ hair while still in bed.

Disposable Wipes

A concept of using baby wipes
Karl Tapales / Getty Images

Sometimes, a traditional bed bath with soap and water is needed. But, when a patient is tired, vomiting, or has diarrhea, disposable wipes are necessary. Not only does it help decrease infection risk, but it also helps your loved one feels better when they are clean.

You can buy these for the whole body or the hands, which works excellently before meals. Consider buying them in bulk, so you always have them on hand.

Pill Crusher

Sometimes you or your loved one must crush pills and put them in a liquid. Pill crushers simplify this process.

This technique could be used for someone who has difficulty swallowing or taking multiple medications simultaneously. It is also great for radiation patients who have dry mouth, which can make it difficult to swallow pills.

Check With Your Healthcare Team Before Crushing Pills

Altering the integrity of some medications, especially enteric coated and extended-release, can be unsafe, cause an overdose, change absorption, decrease the effectiveness, and more. Check with your healthcare provider before crushing pills or opening capsules.

Nosey Cups

Nosey Cups allow drinking while laying down. You don't have to be in an upright position. They have an area cut out to make room for the nose so you can tip and drink without spilling. They are great for children, too.

Bed Tray

Senior Caucasian man having breakfast in bed
JGI/Tom Grill / Getty Images

This is a must-have item. A bed tray helps a patient on bed rest or confined to a bed or chair. The tray fits over their lap and allows room for dining, reading, or playing games with friends and family.

No-Rinse Personal Care

Sometimes fatigue is so severe that it is just too tiring to bathe. At other times, bathing is restricted for a period after surgery. No-rinse personal care products provide a way to get clean without water. You can get no-rinse shampoos, conditioners, and body washes.

Adjustable Bed Wedge

This wedge-shaped support pillow lets you convert it from a sleeping position to two different sitting positions. It's great for people who are restricted to bed. It's also helpful if your cancer treatment or surgery requires your head to be elevated.

Composite Commode

Diarrhea and nausea are both side effects of chemotherapy. There is often such an urgency that the patient may not make it to the restroom. Having a bedside commode makes it much more manageable.

Privacy with a Commode

If you or the person you care for is too self-conscious to use it, consider hanging a sheet around the commode (or using another type of divider) for privacy. Making a private area around it makes it less embarrassing to use.

Summary

Cancer treatment can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, lack of mobility, and skin sensitivity. Some medical devices can help manage these symptoms and help make the process easier for you and your caregivers. 

For example, shower chairs, inflatable shampoo basins, disposable wipes, and no-rinse personal care can help you clean while reserving energy. Blanket support helps with skin sensitivity. Other valuable devices include pill pulverizers, nosey cups, bed trays, bed wedges, and a bedside commode.

A Word From Verywell

Cancer treatment can be one of the most stressful experiences in one's life. It can be an uphill battle and some days are better than others. The medical devices mentioned in this article are available to help you and your caregivers. 

For additional support, reach out to your healthcare provider, cancer support homes, and cancer support groups. They are filled with information and additional resources. 

Originally written by Lisa Fayed
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