If you thought the devastating effects of chemotherapy ended with the patient, get a load of this headline: “Chemo Is ‘Invisible Threat’ to Cancer Clinic Staff.”
That’s right. Simply handling and administering chemo drugs can pose a serious threat to cancer clinic staff—particularly nurses and pharmacists.
Evidence has linked workplace exposure to chemo drugs to everything from breathing problems to miscarriages. That’s how toxic it is. So the fact that a new study found that most nurses aren’t using the protective equipment they need?
Well, I’d call it an emergency of the highest order…
Nurses aren’t dressed for the job
This latest study looked at nearly 400 nurses from a dozen different American cancer clinics. And researchers found that even 2-year-long education interventions weren’t enough to ensure optimal use of protective equipment among staff.
Currently, protective equipment would include two pairs of gloves during all drug handling, and a thick gown with a back closure made from low permeability material.
Protocol also recommends eye and face protection, in the event of splashing—and a respirator for cleaning spills, and in some cases, during administration.
In other words, we’re basically talking about hazmat suits. So you know what? The results of this anonymous polling aren’t exactly surprising.
Results show that well over one-third of nurses aren’t changing gowns or doubling up on gloves. Partly because it isn’t convenient or accessible. And partly because it’s just too cumbersome and uncomfortable.
As a result, many chemo-exposed employees reported upper respiratory symptoms, rash, diarrhea, migraine, and headaches. And yes, I could go on and on about how everyone needs to do a better job of following protocol.
But I won’t. Because at the end of the day, health care professionals are mere humans too. And if anything, the real problem is that we’re still stuck in the dark ages when it comes to the fight against cancer.
Big Pharma’s unmonitored experiment
I get it, folks—no one wants cancer. But sadly, chemo is the only treatment option offered to most people unfortunate enough to receive a diagnosis. And to be fair, there are some chemotherapies that are curative.
Nevertheless, chemo is toxic.
We know children who get chemo for childhood cancers have a much higher rate of getting cancer of a completely different kind again as an adult. Because of course giving this poison to sick and immunocompromised patients is going to have a devastating impact on otherwise healthy tissue and organs.
This study highlights the dangers of chemo exposure to a healthy population. But if you ask me, the real travesty here is that the study chose to focus its efforts on getting health professionals to use more protective gear—rather than the overall risks of exposure.
There are millions of people exposed to these drugs—from manufacturing, to delivery, to disposal. And I can’t possibly be the only one thinking of all the family, friends, and other companions that accompany patients to their chemo sessions. How much risk does it expose them to?
The study simply leaves us with even more unanswered questions from this great unmonitored experiment Big Pharma’s been conducting on the American people… and one obvious explanation as to why we just can’t seem to win the war on cancer.
But there are simple, science-based strategies that can fortify your cellular defenses—and stop cancer dead in its tracks. And thankfully, I’ve compiled them all in my Essential Protocol to a Cancer-Free Future. Click here to learn more about this online learning tool, or sign up today.
“Chemo Is ‘Invisible Threat’ to Cancer Clinic Staff.” Medscape Medical News, 03/08/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/910105)