People undergoing treatment, cancer survivors, and their families may have questions related to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. If you are a cancer patient and have a weak immune system, you may be concerned about the risks associated with COVID-19. People with cancer must follow any specific advice or safety measures given by the authority. It will help them lessen the risk of being infected.
If You Have Any Symptoms
If you experience any symptoms or you know that you have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for the disease, call your treatment team right away. Ask for advice over the phone of what you can do or where you will go to lessen the risk of infecting other people.
If You Are Undergoing A Cancer Treatment
Here are some practical ways you can do to limit your risks of exposure;
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly. Wash your hands as well before and after drinking or eating.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick or have been exposed to the virus.
- Disinfect and clean commonly touched surfaces or objects. Wear gloves when cleaning possible. Clean obvious debris with soap and water.
- Avoid crowds and unnecessary physical contact. If you are currently having chemotherapy, being far from other people is very important.
- Maintain a distance between yourself and others.
- Talk to your doctor about the times in your treatment when you may be at the highest risk of infection so you can plan your activities accordingly.
- Call your treatment team to see if you can do some of your consultations via video calls or phone calls.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Avoid non-essential travel and avoid public transport if you can.
By practicing social distancing, you will slow the spread of the virus. Here are ways to maintain physical or social distance within households, schools, or workplaces;
- Consider canceling or rescheduling social gatherings
- Open your windows or adjust your air conditioning to increase the amount of fresh air
- Limit food handling and sharing food with others
- Promote good hand hygiene
- Disinfect and clean commonly touched surfaces regularly
- You can have your meetings via phone call or video conferencing if possible
- Buy more goods and services online to limit your visits to the shops
If you will be taking over-the-counter medication or prescription, make sure you have enough at home. A one month supply is ideal. Some pharmacies offer to renew prescriptions via home delivery. You can talk to your local pharmacist.
For Carers, Family, Friends
If you have had close contact with someone who is at high risk of having the COVID-19, you must avoid any contact with the person who is receiving cancer treatment. You can talk with your doctor about receiving some influenza vaccination. It is to avoid passing on other infections and increasing the risk that you or your family member or friend will need healthcare.