January 18, 2024

How to Get Rid of Cancer Odor

Man taking a shower

How Can You Get Rid of Cancer Odor?

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you may notice changes in the smells your body produces. There are several reasons for this, including cancer’s effect on surrounding tissues, your metabolism, etc.

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy may also create conditions for unpleasant odors. For instance, treatment can cause nausea and vomiting, which leads to bad breath. It can also produce painful mouth sores that make it uncomfortable to brush and floss.

Some people with cancer feel self-conscious about these odors and may avoid social interaction. That’s unfortunate since isolation can cause a decreased quality of life at a time when a person should be doing all they can to improve it. However, there are actions you can take to reduce cancer odor and feel more confident when interacting with friends and family.

How to Address Cancer Odor

If cancer is causing your body to produce unpleasant smells that make you uncomfortable being around others, it’s helpful to do the following:

  • Talk with friends and family about the situation. You’ll likely feel better once the issue has been acknowledged, and they’ll probably feel relieved to learn that odor is common with the disease.
  • Ask for guidance. Your care team will likely educate you about cancer odor. However, if they don’t or you have specific questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to bring them up. They’re familiar with cancer odor, so you shouldn’t be embarrassed or hesitant to initiate a conversation about it.
  • Take antibiotics as directed. If you have an ulcerating tumor that’s producing an unpleasant smell, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to clear it up. Be sure to follow the instructions for taking the medication. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotic essential oils. The advice about taking medication as directed is also critical for other conditions related to your cancer or cancer treatment, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), yeast infections, etc.
  • Talk with your doctor about anti-nausea medication. If you vomit frequently, there are drugs that can help. Discuss this with your care team.
  • Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is good advice in general and helps reduce cancer odor in various ways, including diluting strong-smelling urine, minimizing dry mouth, aiding in digestion, etc.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc., helps remove toxins from your body that can contribute to cancer odor and promotes regular bowel movements.
  • Exercise. Working up a sweat (to the degree your doctor says is optimal for you) helps your body excrete toxins.
  • Wash your clothes, bath towels, and bedding regularly. Your perspiration, medications, lotions, etc., can cause these items to develop unpleasant odors. And because you are in contact with them regularly, you may not notice an unpleasant smell developing.
  • Pay attention to your oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing to the extent possible, given your mouth’s condition, is essential. Doing so helps reduce odor and the likelihood of developing infected sores. 

Finally, despite your best efforts, cancer and cancer treatment are likely to cause some changes in the smells your body produces. Remember that the people who care for and about you understand this and are only concerned about your health and well-being.

Talk with Your Baptist Health Care Team About Cancer Odor

It’s understandable to be concerned initially when cancer or cancer treatment causes your body to produce unpleasant odors. Fortunately, your Baptist Health care team understands what you’re going through and can help you minimize the odors and the associated psychological discomfort.

Learn More.