Precautionary Measures For Cancer Patients During The Covid-19 Pandemic
People with certain medical conditions are at elevated risk of developing serious illness from covid-19, and this category includes the people with cancer, the impact of covid 19 on cancer patients can be huge. Cancers and their treatment may suppress and alter the immune system function, which makes them vulnerable to covid-19. The rates of coronavirus cases are fluctuating, and new variants are emerging. No one knows for certain when things will come back to normal; hence we need to continue the precautionary measures to stay safe. Here is a list of precautions that individuals with cancer need to know and take.
Follow The Same Precautions And Be More Vigilant
What Does The Latest Research Say? Why Is Vaccinating Crucial?
A virus can mutate (change) and result in new variants. The coronavirus can persist in people with the weak immune system, and that may lead to the rise of new variants. Certain variants spread more easily than others or are more resistant to treatments or vaccines. Therefore, vaccinating these immunocompromised individuals is important in slowing the spread of the virus.
Take All Vaccine Doses Recommended To You By Your Health Care Professional
All of the Covid vaccines are effective at preventing serious illnesses from all the variants that have emerged so far. People with compromised immune systems need additional primary doses, and booster shots since their immune response to covid vaccination may not be as strong as in individuals who have a normal immune function.
You are considered to have a weakened immune system if you:
- Have been getting cancer therapy for tumours or blood cancers
- Undergone organ transplantation and taking medications that suppress your immune system
- Have untreated or advanced HIV infection
- Undergone stem cell transplantation within the last 2 years or received a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy (a therapy that helps the immune system bind to and destroys cancer cells)
- Have severe or moderate primary immunodeficiency such as Aldrich syndrome
- Receiving high dose corticosteroid medicines or other medicines which may weaken the immune system
If you have recently received cancer therapy, your doctor may recommend you to wait until the immune function has recovered before vaccination. Or, he/ she may recommend you to wait some weeks after receiving the vaccine to get therapy. It is vital that the family members, friends, and caregivers of the people with cancer get vaccinated to protect them from covid-19.
Steps To Avoid Being Exposed To The Coronavirus
- Wear a best-fit mask that provides protection and comfort to you regardless of your vaccination status. Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue or inside of the elbows, and wash hands immediately if you don’t wear a mask.
- Wash hands often using water and soap for at least twenty seconds, particularly after being in a public place and after sneezing, blowing through the nose, or coughing. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth. Regularly clean & disinfect high-touch areas such as tables, doorknobs, and sinks.
- Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated places. Stay a minimum of six feet away from others, particularly those who are sick.
- Avoid nonessential travel, especially if your travel involves areas with high risk of infection or if you have not been completely vaccinated against covid-19. Check with your cancer health care team if telehealth services are available for routine visits. Speak to your employer and work from home if possible.
Learn More & Feel Better
In case you think you have been exposed to coronavirus, or have any symptoms of infection such as cough, or shortness of breath, get tested, isolate yourself and visit your health care provider. Living with cancer can bring up a wide range of intense feelings, especially amidst a covid pandemic, the impact of covid 19 on cancer patients can worsen their mental health. Learning the coping strategies and sticking strictly to the covid precautions can help you feel better and stay healthy.