Cancer patients urged to keep all appointments, if possible, despite COVID-19

While coronavirus presents higher risk to immune compromised, cancer treatment remains important

Cancer patients may have reason to be extra cautious during the COVID-19 pandemic, says BC Cancer.

And to help guide those patients through this time, the agency has issued a question and answer on their website.

The questions are those that are on the top of mind of many patients with cancer. They address whether cancer patients are more likely to get sick from COVID-19, how to avoid getting the virus, mask protocols, and whether patients should keep their clinic appointments.

They state that “it is possible that cancer patients are at a higher risk of more severe symptoms because of their lowered immune system due to medications and treatment. Like other healthy people, they should do their best to avoid infection.”

They turn to the BC Centre for Disease Control for those guidelines, which include avoiding crowded public places, washing hands frequently with soap and water (20 to 30 seconds), avoiding touching their face, covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoiding others who are unwell, and staying home when sick.

READ MORE: Take COVID-19 seriously, says B.C. doctor

As for whether masks are important, this is their advice:

“Our advice for cancer patients is the same as for any other person. If you are healthy, wearing a mask is not recommended. The most important way to protect yourself is by washing your hands properly and avoid touching your face. Masks should only be used if you are sick to prevent transmission to others,” they say.

And they are not advising patients pause their cancer care unless they have traveled recently, under the public health requirement to self-isolate for 14 days, are not feeling well with cold or flu symptoms, or have a fever over 38C. In those situations, they ask patients to contact their clinic to discuss rescheduling.

“It’s important to ensure your cancer care continues as scheduled, so please continue to go to your clinic appointments,” they say.

They also say it’s not important to stockpile cancer medications, as BC Cancer Agency will work with patients to ensure they have their medications.

They do advise against travel, as per the BC Provincial Health Officer’s current guidelines.

Find their full Q&A on the home page of their website.

They also say the best source of up-to-date information on COVID-19 in British Columbia is the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

READ MORE: Worried about your vacation amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s what you can cancel


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
news@hopestandard.com

@CHWKcommunity
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CancerCoronavirusHealth

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Town of Oliver gives residents tax breaks, 50 per cent off first quarter utility fees

Mayor encourages residents to invest money back into the community if possible

Cougar caught on camera in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident caught a cougar prowling near their home

Dry March causes modest increases to Okanagan snowpack

The Okanagan region increased from 115 per cent of normal snowpack to 116 per cent

Summerland winery sold for $5.2 million

Property overlooking Okanagan Lake was on the market 160 days

City of Penticton launches emergency survey on financial impacts of COVID-19

Survey aims to give the City an idea of how to move ahead with relief and recovery measures

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Smiles, honks and waves as teachers stage parade for their students

Classrooms are closed, but kids and teachers manage to connect

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

COVID-19: B.C. students describe life during pandemic

Most teens wonder what the future will be like after COVID-19

COLUMN: Local journalism more important than ever before

Response to recent farm worker situation was concerning

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

Most Read