There are many factors to consider when making an important decision such as postponing cancer treatment in order to avoid a potential infection with COVID-19. Patients should talk with their treating oncologists about the risks of postponing treatment versus the potential benefit of decreasing their infection risk. Things to discuss include the goals of cancer treatment, the likelihood that cancer will be controlled with the treatment being planned, the intensity and side effects of the cancer treatment, and the supportive care that is available to reduce the side effects of treatment.
What should I do?
- Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands with soap and water or, if not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid contact with sick people, in particular with those with a cough
- Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes
- Avoid meetings, events and other social gatherings in areas with ongoing community transmission
- Practice social distancing
Recognize first coronavirus infection such as:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Telephone your doctor or national health care services when returning from a risk region, after contact with an infected person, or when feeling symptoms suspicious for COVID-19.
- DO NOT go directly to your doctor, clinic/hospital if you have a fever or other symptoms, to avoid the potential spread of the infection. Telephone the clinic first and follow the instructions they give to you.