What is coronavirus, or COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are an outsized family of viruses that are common in people and lots of different species of animals. NCDC is responding to a pandemic of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that spreads from person to person. The virus has been named SARS-CoV-2, and therefore the disease it causes has been named coronavirus disease 2019, which is abbreviated COVID-19.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and therefore the risk assessment are going to be updated as required .
If I have cancer, am I at higher risk of getting COVID-19?
Because SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus, anyone who is exposed to it is at risk of becoming infected and developing COVID-19. Some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy can weaken your immune system (cause you to be immunocompromised) and may increase your risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Other risk factors may also increase your risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including:
2) lung, heart, liver, or kidney disease
5) immune deficiencies, including HIV and AIDS
6) a history of smoking
7) a history of bone marrow or organ transplantation
prolonged use of corticosteroids or other medications that can weaken the immune system
I am a cancer survivor. Am I at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19?
People who were treated for cancer Previously past may have weakened immune systems, which may increase their risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Cancer survivors might want to debate their concerns about COVID-19 with their doctors.
If I have cancer now or had it in the past, how can I protect myself?
There is currently no vaccine to stop COVID-19 or specific treatment for it. The best Step to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
The NCDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) recommends the following actions to help people at high risk for developing serious illness from COVID-19 stay healthy:
1. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
2. Wash your hands often with soap and 3. water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and before and after coming in contact with others
4. Stay home as much as possible
5. Make sure you have access to several weeks of medication and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time
6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, countertops, phones, handles, faucets, sinks, and toilets
If you must go out in public:
1. Stay at least 6 feet faraway from people
2. Avoid crowded places
3. Wear a cloth face covering; be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing it; and wash your hands right after removal
NCI provides tips and resources for the cancer community to beware for any emergency.
I receive cancer treatment at a medical facility. What should I do about getting treatment?
If you’re receiving treatment for your cancer, please call your health care provider before attending to your next treatment appointment and follow their guidance. As health care systems adjust their activities to address COVID-19, doctors treating cancer patients may also have to change when and how cancer treatment and follow-up visits are carried out. The risk of missing a cancer treatment or medical appointment must be weighed against the likelihood of exposing a patient to infection.
Some cancer treatments can be safely delayed, whereas others cannot. Some routine follow-up visits may be safely delayed or conducted through telemedicine. If you take oral cancer drugs, you may be able to have prescribed treatments sent directly to you, so you don’t have to go to a pharmacy. A hospital or other medical facility may ask you to go to a specific clinic, away from those treating people sick with coronavirus.
The coronavirus situation is changing daily, with states and cities making changes in how they are handling quarantine and critical health care, so check with your provider as needed.
I participate In a clinical test at a medical facility. What should I do?
If you’re in a very cancer treatment clinical test , please call your clinical test research team and follow their guidance. Physicians and scientists at NCI are working with doctors and health care staff who perform NCI-sponsored clinical trials across the u. s. and in Canada to implement specific measures within our clinical trials networks that will address the current challenges of providing care to patients enrolled in clinical trials. The health of each clinical trial patient is the institute’s most important concern, and NCI is flexible about how clinical trial treatments can be completed and when tests and assessments must be done.
The Institutional Review Boards that oversee each protocol to ensure the safety of patients will work with investigators to quickly make changes that will provide flexibility while maintaining patient safety.
What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?
Call your health care provider if you think that you’ve got been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms of an infection.
This is a stressful time. How do I cope?
Coping with cancer within the face of the coronavirus can point out a large range of feelings you’re not used to managing. Learn more about feelings you may have and ways to cope with them.