Make your appointment or second opinion with Dana-Farber today to meet with an onsite specialist.

Adult Patients:877-442-3324

Pediatric Patients:888-733-4662

Make Appointment OnlineInternational Patients

Online second opinions

Can’t get to Boston? Explore our Online Second Opinion service to get expert advice from Dana-Farber oncologists.

Request a second opinion

Contact & Directions

Email Dana-Farber

Main Number617-632-3000

Toll-Free Number866-408-DFCI (3324)

Maps & DirectionsContact InformationSend us a Question or Comment

How to Help

Discover the ways to give and how to get involved to support Dana-Farber.

Learn More
Give now

When and how to wash your hands

hand sanitizer 

It is very important to practice good hand washing habits to prevent the spread of viruses, particularly around fellow patients who have weakened immune systems. Indirect, contaminated touch is a significant method of virus transmission, including influenza. While the flu shot is the first line of defense against the flu, hand washing is an easy step we can all take to prevent the spread of germs.

Clean hands are particularly important at Dana-Farber, where patients, visitors, clinicians, and staff are in close proximity, and the person who touches a doorknob after you might be a cancer patient.

When should you wash your hands?

  • Whenever they are visibly soiled.
  • Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • When you interact with others, use the bathroom, prepare food, blow your nose, cough, or sneeze.

To help prevent the spread of the flu and any virus, follow these simple hand washing steps:

  1. Wet your hands with warm water and apply soap.
  2. Rub your hands together vigorously for 10 seconds to create a good lather, paying special attention to nail beds, the back of the hands, thumbs, and the areas between your fingers.
  3. Continue rubbing hands together for 10 seconds while rinsing – you can sing the "Happy Birthday" song in your head while you do this.
  4. Dry your hands with a clean paper towel or dryer. When possible, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open the door to avoid any germs that may linger on these public surfaces.

Once your hands are clean, take advantage of the many antibacterial hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the Institute to kill any germs that may be left behind. You can also use antibacterial hand sanitizer in lieu of hand washing when necessary, provided your hands are not visibly soiled.

If you have a fever during flu season, please stay home. If you must come to the Institute while you or your child is ill with flu-like symptoms, ask a staff member for a surgical mask to wear in clinical areas, and for a private room. Following these simple steps will help give you, fellow patients, visitors, clinicians, and everyone at Dana-Farber a better chance of avoiding the flu and other illnesses.

  •   Email
  •   Print
  •   Share