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Facing Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Things to Know

The COVID-19 pandemic is difficult for many, but for those facing cancer, it can be especially overwhelming. Cancer never stops—diagnoses are still occurring and patients are faced with decisions about treatments.

If you or a loved one is facing a cancer diagnosis or cancer treatment during this time, here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • First and foremost, remember: We are here for you. Your care team has your best interests at heart, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them with your questions or concerns. If you are trying to decide whether you should come in for an appointment, or if you are feeling anxious about an upcoming treatment or procedure, it is best to have a conversation with your doctor. You aren’t alone!
  • Telehealth appointments may be an option for you instead of canceling or rescheduling your appointment. In our continued efforts to support our patients, Fox Chase is now offering phone and video appointments when appropriate. If you have questions about this option, we recommend contacting your care team.
  • Social distancing is the most important factor in stopping the spread of COVID-19. By avoiding situations and opportunities for transmission to occur, we can reduce the ability of the virus to spread and help safeguard those at higher risk. With this in mind, it is best to keep your distance and stay at home as much as possible.
  • One of the many potential side effects of cancer and its treatments is a suppressed immune system, or immunosuppression. When your immune system is not working properly, you can easily become sick and have trouble getting over illnesses. While not all cancer patients are immunosuppressed, it’s best to ask your care team if you are and, if so, discuss what additional steps you should take to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other illnesses.
  • Cancer screenings save lives, so it’s important to create a list of screenings you may need to reschedule during this time. However, you should talk to your healthcare team before rescheduling your screenings—you may be advised to keep your appointment and get screened at your previously scheduled time.
  • These are stressful times, and it’s important to do what you can to relieve negative feelings. While there are a number of things you can’t control, there are a few things you can. Keeping a routine can be beneficial for your mental health. In addition, finding activities that help you focus on the present moment (such as gardening, playing a game with your family, or doing a craft or hobby you enjoy) can have a positive effect on your mental health.

We know this is a tough time for everyone in the Fox Chase community. Your safety and the safety of your loved ones is our top priority. We are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our patients and their families. This includes a number or proactive steps, such as instituting a no-visitor policy, screening everyone that walks through our doors, and requiring that everyone wear a face mask while in our facilities.

Please reach out if you have questions—we are happy to offer our support!

Read about the latest precautions Fox Chase is taking and more important information