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Charities issue coronavirus advice for people with cancer

One Cancer Voice guidance addresses frequently asked coronavirus questions and seeks to reassure patients about treatment plans and drug supplies
Covid-19 advice

One Cancer Voice guidance addresses frequently asked coronavirus questions and seeks to reassure patients about treatment plans and drug supplies

The One Cancer Voice group of charities has issued advice on COVID-19 for people with cancer .

It addresses frequently asked questions and seeks to reassure patients about continuing treatment plans and supply of cancer drugs.

The guidance , issued by charities including Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Teenage Cancer Trust,

One Cancer Voice guidance addresses frequently asked coronavirus questions and seeks to reassure patients about treatment plans and drug supplies

Vector image used by cancer charities in guidance on COVID-19

The One Cancer Voice group of charities has issued advice on COVID-19 for people with cancer.

It addresses frequently asked questions and seeks to reassure patients about continuing treatment plans and supply of cancer drugs.

The guidance, issued by charities including Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Teenage Cancer Trust, says some people with cancer are more at risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract COVID-19, shorthand for coronavirus disease 2019.

Advice on minimising people with cancer's exposure to COVID-19

The advice states some people with cancer are more at risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract COVID-19 infection, including:

  • People who have had chemotherapy, or have received chemotherapy in the past three months.
  • Those having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer.
  • People having other targeted cancer treatments that 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 past six months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
  • Those with some types of blood cancer that damage the immune system, even if they have not needed treatment (such as chronic leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma).

It says cancer treatment providers may advise people in these groups to minimise their risk of exposure to COVID-19 by avoiding crowded places, limiting social interaction and maintaining careful hand hygiene.

Time spent in hospital may be minimised

Treatment providers may also seek to minimise the time people in these groups spend in hospital departments, such as by using telephone consultations, and blood tests at GP surgeries or at home if possible, the guidance says.

The guidance from the One Cancer Voice group of charities includes advice on symptoms and work and travel plans. It also includes advice for people who have had cancer in the past as well as guidance for loved ones of people living with cancer.

One Cancer Voice says it is ‘reassured’ the NHS will continue to provide cancer treatments as normal and, if it becomes necessary, prioritise some patients for hospital treatment.

‘Cancer treatment plans would only be changed if there is no alternative,’ the group says.

It adds that the NHS has done extensive work on supply chains to ensure a secure supply of necessary drugs and other requirements such as radionuclides used in imaging tests.


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