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Safe, Effective Cancer Care During COVID-19
How Fox Chase is Providing High-Quality Care in the Safest Environment Possible
The coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected cancer care.
Unlike other parts of life that can wait for things to return to normal, cancer doesn’t stop. Even during these difficult times, it is important for individuals with a cancer diagnosis to have the option to begin their treatment in the safest way possible and others (especially those at high risk) to continue getting their cancer screenings.
While it is important to get treated and screened for cancer, it is also important to note that cancer patients are considered vulnerable to complications from many illnesses (especially COVID-19). Many cancer treatments can weaken the immune system, and this immunocompromised state is one of the biggest risks to cancer patients during this pandemic.
At Fox Chase, we are taking strong actions to keep our patients as safe as possible.
Keeping COVID-19 out of Fox Chase Cancer Center
Early on in the pandemic, Fox Chase became determined to keep COVID-19 out of our center. We have worked closely with our neighboring healthcare center, Temple University Hospital – Jeanes Campus, to ensure that we can continue to treat our patients in the safest environment possible. Any patient who has been diagnosed with or is suspected of having COVID-19 is transferred immediately to Jeanes Hospital, where they will be cared for and still closely monitored by Fox Chase physicians.
In addition, every person entering the center is screened for COVID-19. All individuals must also wear a mask throughout their time at Fox Chase.
COVID-19 Patient Testing at Fox Chase
Some people who have COVID-19 may not have any symptoms of the disease. This is often referred to as being “asymptomatic.” Cancer patients who have COVID-19 and are asymptomatic may be at an increased risk for complications of the disease when undergoing some procedures and treatments. In an effort to prioritize the safety of our patients, Fox Chase has—in certain circumstances—begun testing on-site for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
In early April 2020, the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Fox Chase developed the ability to quickly test for the virus that causes COVID-19. We are currently testing all inpatients at Fox Chase and all patients prior to surgery to ensure that they do not have undiagnosed asymptomatic COVID-19. We are working on expanding our testing capabilities, and it is our hope that we will increase the number of patients that we are able to test.
COVID-19 testing at Fox Chase is done at a drive-through location on campus 24–48 hours before a patient’s procedure. We receive results quickly and are able to make the best decision for each patient’s course of treatment and overall health.
Cancer Screenings Diagnosis
A number of patients have needed to put off routine screenings and procedures, even if they are at high risk of developing cancer. Our efforts to keep this coronavirus out of our center will also allow us to begin safely increasing the number of cancer screenings we perform. Cancer screenings save lives, and it is incredibly important that we continue to provide these services to our patients.
Keeping our patients and their loved ones safe will continue to be the top priority at Fox Chase. We will continue to provide world-class cancer care to all who enter our facilities and, with added precautions in place, we will strive to do so safely.
The choice to begin cancer treatment immediately or wait to begin treatment is not a choice that you or a loved one should have to make alone. It is a choice that should be made knowing that, if immediate treatment becomes necessary, there is a safe place for you to receive that care.