Cancer and coronavirus

If you have cancer, it’s understandable you might feel anxious about COVID-19. The Government and the NHS have both confirmed that cancer treatment should continue to be prioritised during the response to the COVID-19 emergency.
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It is important people continue to seek help for new and ongoing issues. If you notice a change that isn’t normal for you, or if you have any possible signs and symptoms of cancer, you should still contact your doctor.

Healthwatch England spoke to one of the charities offering support at this time, Cancer Research UK, to help you understand the care you should expect to receive throughout the pandemic, and where to go for help.

The care you should expect to receive 

Will my cancer care change? 

People with cancer are among those at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. This is because cancer and treatment can weaken your immune system. 

Services have been told to reduce contact to maximise the safety of patients with cancer, and make the best use of NHS resources, while protecting patients and staff from infection.

As a result of the outbreak, your healthcare team might review your cancer treatment plan. They will aim to continue with your treatment wherever possible but may need to change your treatment or prioritise certain treatments over others.

For example, face to face contact will be minimised by offering telephone or video consultations instead, and some non-essential face-to-face follow ups may be cut.

Read more

Talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses 

You can phone the Cancer Research UK nurses if you would like to talk to someone at this worrying time.

0808 800 4040 (Freephone)

Lines are open from from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Additional support

Lots of charities offer support on coronavirus guidance for those with cancer. There are many other helpful sources of information:

There are also specific places of support depending on your type of cancer:

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