CANCER PATIENTS: YOU ARE AT HIGH RISK
All of us who are cancer patients are among those at high risk of developing life-threatening illness from the coronavirus, COVID-19. This is because our immune systems are often weakened by cancer and cancer treatments.
Even patients who completed treatment years ago stand at greater risk. It is of paramount importance that all cancer patients and survivors, whether currently being treated or not, take maximum precautions to lower and prevent their risk of getting COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued the following guidance:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds because it’s one of the best ways to kill germs on your hands and prevent the spread of germs to others. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth because if you picked up the virus, you could infect yourself by allowing the virus to enter your body.
- Avoid close contact – being within 6 feet – from people who are sick, especially those who are coughing or sneezing.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or sneeze into your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Stay home to help prevent the community spread of the virus.
- Stay home especially when you are ill.
WHAT MORE CAN CANCER PATIENTS DO?
In addition, knowing the basic symptoms of COVID-19, and what to do if you have them, is fundamental. Call your doctor if you have symptoms of COVID-19, which include:
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
Fellow cancer patients, the best way to prevent contracting COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed. This may mean delaying cancer treatments, re-scheduling follow-up appointments, and communicating with your doctor virtually rather than physically going to the clinic. Maintain contact with your doctor and your cancer care team. Near-term, make treatment decisions based primarily on avoiding exposure to the virus.
If you need someone to help in better understanding the options for cancer patients during this unprecedented pandemic, contact us via email email@example.com.
Greg Anderson, Founder
Cancer Recovery Action Network