27th March 2020
Cancer charities and the Government have released updated guidance for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition, and for their family, friends and carers.
People with certain cancers and those who have received or are receiving certain treatments are at risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression
One Cancer Voice charities, in partnership with NHS England, have produced specific COVID-19 guidance for people with cancer. Questions include:
Q1. Do I need to do anything differently as someone who is being treated / in remission from cancer/living with a chronic cancer?
The Government has published guidance for people living with cancer, and strongly advises them to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe:
- Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
- Do not leave your house, except to attend essential medical appointments (please speak to your hospital team to determine which appointments are absolutely essential).
- Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces for example family homes, weddings and religious services.
- 4. Do not go out for shopping, leisure or travel and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact.
- Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
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