Am I more at risk for COVID-19 if I've been diagnosed with cancer?
Those with underlying health conditions and people with compromised immune systems are thought to have a higher likelihood of severe illness from COVID-19. Some types of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, can weaken your immune system. Take precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19 and contact your healthcare provider if you have any treatment concerns.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
- Stay at home and practice social distancing (avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet from others) when out of your
- home for grocery shopping, physical activity, and medical appointments. Wear a mask when social distancing can be difficult (grocery shopping, waiting rooms for medical appointments).
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds and help young children do the same. If soap
- and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough/sneeze in your upper sleeve.
- Immediately throw away used tissues in the trash, then wash hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.
What about my current cancer treatment?
- Attend your scheduled appointments if you are receiving treatment. Arrive early to appointments in case your medical facility requires COVID-19 screenings for entry.
- Consult with your healthcare provider to see if follow-up and surveillance visits should be rescheduled.
- Make sure you have an adequate stock of essential medications (30 days or more).
- Prepare yourself by maintaining the following supplies:
- A two-week supply of food and water at home
- Copies and electronic versions of health records
- Non-prescription medications routinely needed
How can I manage stress and anxiety?
Increased fear and anxiety along with isolation and feeling disconnected can cause strong emotions. Here are some tips to cope:
- Stay connected to your friends and family either over the phone or online.
- Take breaks from Coronavirus (COVID-19) news and social media.
- Take care of your body. Eat well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have feelings of sadness and anxiety that do not go away