Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Cancer Patients
Because many cancer patients have compromised immune systems, they are at a higher risk for contracting viruses and infections. Patients and their families may have many questions about their risk and what precautions to take. Below are some frequently asked questions.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
The best way to protect yourself from getting sick is to:
- Avoid areas where there is an outbreak.
- Avoid contact with people who may be infected.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizers with an alcohol level of 60% or greater if soap and water is not available.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands.
- Ask a member of your care team if they have any specific recommendations based on your general health and the type of treatment you are receiving.
How is Parkview Cancer Institute helping protect patients?
Parkview Cancer Institute is taking extra precautions to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for its patients. In addition to visitor restrictions, Parkview Cancer Institute is adding procedures to protect cancer patients arriving for treatment or appointments.
Patients arriving at Parkview Cancer Institute should drive to the circle drive entrance before parking. Under the canopy, patients and any individual with them, will be asked several screening health questions and will have their temperature checked. The outcome of this screening will allow Parkview Cancer Institute to identify certain patients for further screening and evaluation before receiving treatment or participating in an office visit. To protect patients and staff, visitors who have a fever and/or any respiratory symptoms will not be allowed to accompany the patient.
Should I continue coming to my appointments?
If you are currently receiving work up for diagnosis and staging, and are not experiencing symptoms of or have not been exposed to COVID-19, it is important to continue developing your treatment plan and not delay care.
We believe it is crucial for patients who are actively being treated for cancer to continue receiving treatment. We understand your potential fears surrounding this new virus and are happy to talk to you about our efforts to reduce your risk of exposure.
Will I receive treatment if I think I may have been exposed to COVID-19?
Parkview Cancer Institute has developed a triage process for patients who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19, the flu or other common viruses. This process starts with a call to your care team. Call 833-724-8326 if you are experiencing fevers, respiratory or flu-like symptoms, or have other reasons to believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to your appointment.
If you are sick, we will work with you to develop a personalized plan to address your immediate needs balancing the importance of continuing to treat your cancer.
What precautions should my loved ones take?
To help avoid spreading the virus to you and others, your caregivers should:
- Cover their mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze. Then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Use a disinfectant to clean things that are touched often.
- Stay away from you if they are sick and ask someone who is not sick to help with your care.
- If your caregivers are experiencing respiratory symptoms, they are encouraged to call their healthcare provider prior to arriving at a healthcare facility.
Your well-being is our top priority. If you have additional questions, contact a member of your care team at 833-724-8326.
Dr. Sharma on YouTube
Parkview Cancer Institute's president, Dr Neil Sharma, shares how COVID-19 is affecting cancer patients.
Watch the video.