Living with Cancer

​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
Tools to Manage Stress and AnxietyLearn more about managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you or a loved one are feeling sad or overwhelmed, call Oakland Community Health Network’s Resource and Crisis Helpline at 800-231-1127.If you have thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with them online.