The Best Clothing To Wear To Chemotherapy Sessions

three scarves folded on top of each other
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Let's discuss comfort.

What To Wear To Chemo

Are you going through chemo? First of all let me say, YOU GOT THIS. You're about to make cancer your bitch and we are here for you!! If you're about to go through chemotherapy (or radiation, or a combo of the two) you might be wondering, what should I wear to my chemotherapy session? Since "chemo can last anywhere from one to eight hours and may involve overnight hospital stays" it's important to be mindful of what you're wearing to chemotherapy.

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy, or chemo for short, is a type of cancer treatment.

The American Cancer Society defines chemo:

"Chemotherapy is the use of any drug to treat any disease. Surgery and radiation therapy remove, kill, or damage cancer cells in a certain area, but chemo can work throughout the whole body. This means chemo can kill cancer cells that have spread (metastasized) to parts of the body far away from the original (primary) tumor."

Get Comfortable During Chemo

Because chemotherapy works in "cycles", you'll undergo scheduled visits to the hospital.

"A cycle may be a dose of one or more drugs followed by several days or weeks without treatment. This gives normal cells time to recover from drug side effects. Sometimes, doses may be given a certain number of days in a row, or every other day for several days, followed by a period of rest. Some drugs work best when given continuously over a set number of days. Each drug is given on a schedule that makes the most of its anti-cancer actions and minimizes side effects. If more than one drug is used, the treatment plan will say how often and exactly when each drug should be given. The number of cycles given may be decided before treatment starts, based on the type and stage of cancer. In some cases, the number is flexible, and will take into account how the treatment affects the cancer and the person’s overall health."

Because you might be getting drugs sporadically or continuously, it's important that you're comfortable. How long you get chemo in one session is up to your doctor. Even if it's 10 minutes or an hour, sitting in cozy clothes will only make the treatment a little more... bearable.

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Dress Strategically for Chemotherapy

Chemo can be given intravenously for "rapid entry into the body's circulation". So make sure your arms and hands are free from loose clothing. Short sleeved shirts, tank tops, or easy to roll sleeves are wise. You won't want your IV sitting underneath your button down. Loose pants or comfortable leggings will allow you to feel comfortable when you're sitting down for long periods at a time. In the event you get cold, a blanket or Snuggie is a great option as your arms still can be free if need be.

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Block Out The Sun

According to Very Well Health "nearly any chemotherapy agent (or non-cancer-related medications as well) may cause you to be more sensitive to the sun. In addition, the combination of different drugs may raise your risk further than a single drug would alone". That being said, you might want to pack a hat, sunglasses, and any other piece of clothing or accessories to help block the sun either when sitting by a window or walking to and from a car. In regards to sunscreen, consult your doctor as your skin might be sensitive to lotions depending on your treatment.


As always, consult your doctor for more information about chemotherapy treatments.