Coronavirus and cancer: Six ways to avoid catching the virus if you're a cancer patient

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Coronavirus and cancer: Six ways to avoid catching the virus if you're a cancer patient 1

Coronavirus can be deadly for those with a weakened immune system. Cancer Research UK notes some people with cancer are less capable of fighting off infections. How can anyone with the disease avoid the virus?

According to One Cancer Voice, the official guidance for cancer patients on COVID-19, there are six situations which make somebody more vulnerable to complications of the virus.

• People having chemotherapy, or have had chemotherapy in the past three months

• 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

• People having intensive (radical) radiotherapy for lung cancer

• People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months, or who are still taking immunosuppressive drugs

• People with some types of blood cancer which damage the immune system, even if they have not needed treatment (for example, chronic leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma).

One Cancer Voice add: “Clinicians may advise people in these groups to minimise e their risk of exposure to COVID-19 infection by avoiding crowded environments, limiting social interaction and maintaining careful hand hygiene.”

The official advice is to do this for at least 20 seconds.

2. Time and place to wash your hands

It’s recommended to wash hands with soap and water as soon as you get home or reach the office.

3. An alternative to soap and water

Should access to water and soap be limited, the use of an alcohol hand sanitiser is recommended.

4. Social distancing

As well as avoiding crowded places, the NHS suggests people should try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

5. Etiquette

Anytime you cough or sneeze, for the benefit of everybody nearby, please cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve.

The NHS stresses not to use your hands to cover any sneezes or coughs.

6. Disposing waste

Put any used tissues in the bin immediately, and proceed to wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.

For people in remission, most people make a full recovery after cancer treatment and their immune system either recovers fully or isn’t affected.


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