Get a Second Life
July 22, 2010
An Effective Complement to the Pap Smear
July 22, 2010
HPV Vaccination Recommendations
July 22, 2010
Resources
July 21, 2010
A Study of Dietary Prudence
November 18, 2009 – Kathy LaTour
Debt Collection: Playing Fair
July 21, 2010
Fast Facts: John Plumb Sr.
July 21, 2010
Bearing the Bankruptcy Burden
July 21, 2010 – Teresa McUsic
Debt-Fighting Strategies
July 21, 2010 – Teresa McUsic
What to Watch For
July 20, 2010 – Debra Wood, RN
Web Exclusive: Possible Barriers to Palliative Care
March 10, 2008 – The American Cancer Society
Recommended Resources
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Doctors in Training
March 10, 2008 – Joanne Kenen
Now That I'm An Adult
March 10, 2008 – Claudia Craemer-Meihsner as told to Eric Ness
For When It Hurts
March 10, 2008 – Joanne Kenen
Cancer Around the World
March 10, 2008 – Jo Cavallo
Making a Difference
March 10, 2008 – Jo Cavallo
The High-Risk Crowd
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Risk Factors: Close to Home
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
What's Behind the Screen?
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
Long-Distance Lifesavers
March 10, 2008 – Marc Silver
Intimacy Issues
March 10, 2008 – Curtis Pesmen
Protecting Yourself
March 10, 2008 – Katy Human
Schools Get Schooled on Parents with Cancer
March 10, 2008 – Erik Ness
DES Exposure: Questions and Answers
March 10, 2008 – The American Cancer Society
Are Public Awareness Campaigns Effective?
March 10, 2008 – Lacey Meyer
The New Specialty in Cancer Care
March 10, 2008 – Joanne Kenen
Below the Surface
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
Another Deafening Silence
March 10, 2008 – Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN
How Out-of-Towners Stay in the Loop
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Are Minorities Benefiting From Prevention Priority?
March 10, 2008 – Jo Cavallo
Marriage and Cancer?
March 10, 2008 – Curtis Pesmen
On the Defensive
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March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
When the Ordinary Becomes the Ideal
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Straight Talk
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Dieting Away Cancer?
March 10, 2008 – Lena Huang
Message from the Publisher
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More Radiation in Less Time
March 10, 2008 – Laura Beil
Letters from Our Readers
March 10, 2008
Friend in Need: Chemo Duck
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Breast Cancer Risk May be Overstated in BRCA Carriers
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Q&A: Predicting Breast Cancer Recurrence
March 10, 2008 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Journeys Through Cancer: Art of Healing & Hope
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Cancer on $5 a Day (*chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life
March 10, 2008 – Kathy LaTour
Exploring the Origin of Childhood Leukemia
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
We Can Weekend
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Seventies Musicians Linked by Cancer
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Insurance for Clinical Trial Care a State-by-State Battle
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Get a Second Life
July 22, 2010
An Effective Complement to the Pap Smear
July 22, 2010
HPV Vaccination Recommendations
July 22, 2010
A Shot at Prevention
February 04, 2008 – Don Vaughan
Prevention in America
February 04, 2008 – Lovell Jones
Resources
July 21, 2010
Reel-Life Cancer
February 04, 2008 – Lacey Meyer
Voices
February 04, 2008
Defining Perceptions
February 04, 2008 – Debu Tripathy, MD
A Study of Dietary Prudence
November 18, 2009 – Kathy LaTour
Gastronomical Distress
February 04, 2008 – Claudia Boynton
Debt Collection: Playing Fair
July 21, 2010
Fast Facts: John Plumb Sr.
July 21, 2010
Snippets
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Snippets
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Bearing the Bankruptcy Burden
July 21, 2010 – Teresa McUsic
Debt-Fighting Strategies
July 21, 2010 – Teresa McUsic
What to Watch For
July 20, 2010 – Debra Wood, RN
Here We Go Again
February 04, 2008 – Kathy LaTour
Snippets
February 04, 2008
Shining Light on Detection
February 04, 2008 – Laura Beil
Preparing for the Breast Cancer Paradigm Shift
February 04, 2008 – Lillie Shockney, RN
Diagnosis: Critical Mass
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February 04, 2008 – Kathy LaTour
Snippets
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The Healing Zone
February 04, 2008 – Melissa Gaskill
Surviving With A Plumb
February 04, 2008 – Jean Nash Johnson
Letters
February 04, 2008
Figurative Testimonials
February 04, 2008 – Karen Belfer
Relay for (Second) Life
February 04, 2008 – John V. Wood
Shouldering Debt
February 04, 2008 – Teresa McUsic
Heart & Lung Watch
February 04, 2008 – Debra Wood, RN
Web Exclusive: Possible Barriers to Palliative Care
March 10, 2008 – The American Cancer Society
Recommended Resources
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Doctors in Training
March 10, 2008 – Joanne Kenen
Now That I'm An Adult
March 10, 2008 – Claudia Craemer-Meihsner as told to Eric Ness
For When It Hurts
March 10, 2008 – Joanne Kenen
Cancer Around the World
March 10, 2008 – Jo Cavallo
Making a Difference
March 10, 2008 – Jo Cavallo
The High-Risk Crowd
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Risk Factors: Close to Home
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
What's Behind the Screen?
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
Long-Distance Lifesavers
March 10, 2008 – Marc Silver
Intimacy Issues
March 10, 2008 – Curtis Pesmen
Currently Viewing
Protecting Yourself
March 10, 2008 – Katy Human
DES Exposure: Questions and Answers
March 10, 2008 – The American Cancer Society
Are Public Awareness Campaigns Effective?
March 10, 2008 – Lacey Meyer
The New Specialty in Cancer Care
March 10, 2008 – Joanne Kenen
Below the Surface
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
Another Deafening Silence
March 10, 2008 – Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN
How Out-of-Towners Stay in the Loop
March 10, 2008 – Marc Silver
Are Minorities Benefiting From Prevention Priority?
March 10, 2008 – Jo Cavallo
Marriage and Cancer?
March 10, 2008 – Curtis Pesmen
On the Defensive
March 10, 2008 – Katy Human
Breast Cancer & Lung Cancer
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
When the Ordinary Becomes the Ideal
March 10, 2008 – Linn Kurkjian
Straight Talk
March 10, 2008 – Erik Ness
Dieting Away Cancer?
March 10, 2008 – Lena Huang
Message from the Publisher
March 10, 2008 – Susan McClure
More Radiation in Less Time
March 10, 2008 – Laura Beil
Letters from Our Readers
March 10, 2008
Friend in Need: Chemo Duck
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Breast Cancer Risk May be Overstated in BRCA Carriers
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Q&A: Predicting Breast Cancer Recurrence
March 10, 2008 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Journeys Through Cancer: Art of Healing & Hope
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Cancer on $5 a Day (*chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life
March 10, 2008 – Kathy LaTour
Exploring the Origin of Childhood Leukemia
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
We Can Weekend
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Seventies Musicians Linked by Cancer
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Insurance for Clinical Trial Care a State-by-State Battle
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington

Protecting Yourself

Simple ways to protect yourself from infection.

BY Katy Human
PUBLISHED March 10, 2008

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are often harmless, “colonizing” the skin of one to every three or four people in the population, but causing no disease. Colonized people can unknowingly spread the bacteria, however, triggering infection in more vulnerable people, such as those with compromised immune systems or open wounds. 

Infections occur when drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria enter the body and multiply, which triggers an immune response. Dangerous MRSA infections invade the body deeply, causing pneumonia in the lungs, serious infections in surgical wounds, or deadly bloodstream infections. Basic hygiene can ward off most infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and include:

  • Keep hands clean by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Keep cuts clean and covered with a bandage until healed.

  • Avoid touching other people’s wounds or bandages.

  • Do not share personal items, such as towels or razors.

Recent studies show plain soap may be just as effective as antibacterial soap in wiping out bacteria. In fact, antibacterial products may actually be worse, according to laboratory research published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. While plain soap and alcohol-based products lift bacteria off the skin so that it can be rinsed away, antibacterial products contain a chemical called triclosan that may end up leaving more resistant bacteria behind. However, when the two types of soaps were compared in real-life settings, no difference in bacteria resistance was seen.

The CDC has found clusters of MRSA in certain populations and places. Skin infection outbreaks occur among athletes, military recruits, and prisoners—often spread by skin-to-skin contact in crowded or unsanitary conditions.

Most importantly for cancer patients, the agency has found MRSA in health care settings, such as hospitals and long-term care centers, where heavy use of antibiotics can lead to the growth of antibiotic-resistant staph.

Precautions in health care settings are similar, but patients should not only wash their own hands regularly, they should also inquire if their health care providers are doing so. When someone is inserting an intravenous tube or catheter, that person should wear gloves and a mask and sterilize your skin first.  

For more about MRSA prevention, visit the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease’s website at www3.niaid.nih.gov

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