Last updated: 2 May 2020 5.40pm
Having cancer may put you at a higher risk of serious illness if you get COVID-19 (coronavirus). Some cancer treatments can cause a weak immune system. You need to take extra care to protect yourself.
You may need to cocoon if you are having certain cancer treatments are have certain types of cancer.
Unless you are told not to, go for your treatment as usual if you are having:
Your treatment may change. Your consultant or oncology team will decide any changes. They'll discuss them with you.
Changes may include:
- changes to your medication
- a break in treatment
- a new location for your treatment
- assessments by phone, where possible
Before going for treatment
Phone the oncology unit before going for treatment if you are:
- a close contact of someone with COVID-19
- concerned about symptoms of COVID-19
The oncology unit may also phone you 1 or 2 days before your appointment. This is also to check if you have been in contact with the virus.
Go to appointments without family members or carers, where possible. This is to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus.
Avoid arriving early to minimise time spent in hospitals.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms
If you have symptoms of COVID-19:
You will need to remain in self-isolation while you wait for your results.
If you have coronavirus you’ll need to say self-isolated until:
- you have had no fever for 5 days, and
- it has been 14 days since you first developed symptoms
Your cancer team will decide when you are fit to begin cancer treatment again.
They’ll base this on:
- how well you are
- the length of time since you first got sick
This could delay your treatment starting by 2 to 3 weeks. If you are already on treatment, you may have a longer than usual break between treatments.
Looking after your mental health
It is difficult living with cancer during the current uncertainty.