Things to Think About When Dressing for Your First Chemotherapy Session

27 October 2016
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


Few things are more unnerving than your first chemotherapy treatment. There will probably be hundreds of questions going through your mind about what to expect, and the last thing you'll want to have to do is worry about what to wear. The good news is that dressing for chemotherapy is simple; you just need to keep the following points in mind.

Go for Comfortable Clothes

Chemotherapy can last for hours at a time, so you should wear clothing that aims for comfort more than style. Loose fitting tops and bottoms are ideal; you should generally try to wear what you would normally want to lounge around the house in.

Additionally, loose fitting clothing will make it easier for nurses to get to your body. If you have a central line or a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), make sure that it will be accessed easily and without making you uncomfortable. You don't want the arm of you shirt to have to pulled up so much that it feels uncomfortable or starts to interfere with proper circulation.

Wear Nothing 'Good'

Unfortunately, one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting. If you are sick during or right after therapy, you don't want to have to worry about getting anything on an expensive top. You'll also find that wrinkling will be common due to the length of time you're supposed to sit still.

Make Sure You'll Keep Warm

People often underestimate how chilly hospital wards and clinics can be, and the low temperatures are made worse by the fact that you'll be sitting down for very long periods. Even if the sun is out, make sure you'll be able to stay warm inside by wearing comfortable shoes instead of sandals, plus some warm, fuzzy socks.

Many patients also choose to bring a blanket. These are great since you can drape yourself in one either up to the neck or waist according to how cold you get, then just fling it aside if you find that you don't need it.

No Perfume or Cologne

One thing you shouldn't wear is perfume or cologne. Some drugs used during chemotherapy can have the odd side effect of heightening your sense of smell. Minor odours that might once have smelt pleasant can seem overbearing and cause nausea. Remember, it's not just you having chemotherapy; even if you don't find your sense of smell changing, the person next to you might.

For more advice, contact a medical centre or clinic.