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Cancer Patients and Survivors: High Risk Handwashers

Jim Mann's picture

Cancer patients are very susceptible to infection, including foodborne illness. Their chemotreatments are very effective in killing cells, the good along with the bad. Their oncologist leads their fight with a delicate balance of chemical brew, blended on a case-by-case basis. The one thing all oncologists agree for all patients is that handwashing and continued hand hygiene are critical in beating the disease. Cancer patients, and those in daily contact with them, must be better than average hand washers.

Cancer patients and survivors tend to become wonderful hand washing advocates. They learn from their surgeon, oncologist, radiologist, lymphedemiologist, massage therapist, and nutritionist just how important handwashing is in their arsenal of interventions. Handwashing and hand sanitizing are among the most important interventions although they are the least-cost components where medical bills quickly reach and exceed $100,000. It takes five years of freedom from cancer before one is considered a survivor.

Cancer is bad news but not the death call it once was. It seems that those afflicted, particularly with breast cancer, find an inner strength. Many become activists to increase understanding and be sure young women use a lifetime of resources to avoid the disease.

The V.I.Pee Luxury Lavatory

Cancer doesn't kill creativity but rather seems to foster it. The V.I.Pee Luxury Lavatory pictured below offers frequent surface cleaning and extra hand hygiene options along with a bouquet of flowers in each unit. How many visitors, particularly women, wouldn't welcome a V.I.Pee when attending outdoor events like fairs, church picnics or concerts. This is another example of situations where the SaniTwice protocol has its place for added cleaning for this at-risk group.

The festival pictures below are from the 2008 Dragon Boat competition in Windsor, Ontario, Canada where all the boats were paddled by cancer patients and survivors. Money raised over the first five years of this event have been used to buy a digital mammography machine for Windsor Regional Hospital and a breast MRI machine for Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital, the first in this region.

V.I.Pee Luxury Lavatory

The V.I.Pee Luxury Lavatory appears to be a killer idea to destroy germs and raise money. Story above.

Pink Paddling Power Boat

Pictured here is the Pink Paddling Power boat from Racine, Wisconsin which won one race in their division finals. The overall winner was the Survivor Thrivers team from Port Hope, Ontario, beating out the host city's WonderBroads in a photo finish where 0.68 seconds separated the first four boats.

Other contenders in this international competition included USA teams:

  • Indy SurvivOARS, Indiana
  • Dragon Boat Atlanta, Georgia
  • Pink Steel, Pittsburg
  • Pink Phurree, Houston, TX
  • Pink Dragon Ladies, Tampa Bay, FL
  • Cajun Invasion, Louisiana


All other Canadian teams were from Ontario:

  • A Breast or Knot, Windsor
  • Kupsized, Stratford
  • Breast Strokes, Guelph

HandsOn™ System

HandsOn System

5 steps to convert underwashing to under control. Set and track your risk-based ServeReady® Hands and TouchReady® Surface standards.

SaniTwice® for Catered Events

SaniTwice for Catered Events

Uncompromised hand cleanliness for those serving food at venues without running water.

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