Cancer care treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy can leave you dizzy and lightheaded, which can impact balance and lead to falling. There are important steps you can take to prepare for and reduce falls.

Preventing Falls

Use these tips to reduce the risk of falling when you’re feeling dizzy or lightheaded.

  • Increase the lighting in your home, inside and out.
  • Use a cane or walker if advised to do so.
  • If you are on medicine, take it regularly and as directed.
  • Tell your health care provider if you think your medicine affects your balance or causes dizziness.
  • Use nonskid mats at home, especially on floors that may get wet.
  • Replace or cover worn areas on carpet or treads and ensure carpet and stair treads are tacked down firmly.
  • Don’t have loose or trailing electric cords across the floors.
  • Arrange furniture so it is not in the way when you walk around the house.
  • Install grab bars for the bathtub, shower and toilet.
  • Store food and regularly used items where they can be easily reached.
  • Get up slowly after lying down or resting. Sit down if you feel lightheaded.
  • Wear rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes that fasten securely.
  • Limit your use of alcohol.
  • Be careful if you have pets that might trip you or push you down when playing.

If you do fall

Call your health care provider or your emergency number after a fall, even if there appears to be little or no injury. It is possible to fracture a hip and still be able to get up. Also, head injuries can be very serious. Your health care provider will examine you and may order X-rays or other tests.