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What Cancer Patients Survivors and Caregivers Need to Know to Reduce Risk of COVID 19 faith health and home

What Cancer Patients, Survivors, and Caregivers Need to Know to Reduce Risk of COVID-19

 

Cancer patients—like most of us are concerned about how coronavirus may impact them—and of course, they are already at high risk.

 

Cancer patients and survivors are among those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because their immune systems are often weakened by the cancer and its treatments. So, it’s important that people who were recently diagnosed for cancer, currently being treated, or treated in the past take steps to protect their health during this pandemic. This is especially important for cancer patients who are currently being treated with chemotherapy.

 

What Cancer Patients Survivors and Caregivers Need to Know to Reduce Risk of COVID 19 faith health and home

 

Tips for Cancer Patients & Survivors:

  • Watch out for fever.Take your temperature any time you feel warm, flushed, chilled, or not well. If you have a temperature of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher or notice any of the signs and symptoms of an infection, call your doctor BEFORE going to their office or hospital. 

 

  • Know the signs and symptoms of infection. Infection during chemotherapy can lead to hospitalization or even death. Call your doctor right away if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, change in cough or new cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, redness, soreness, or swelling in any area, including surgical wounds and ports, diarrhea, or vomiting

 

  • Clean your hands and ask those around you to do the same. Many diseases are spread by not cleaning your hands, which is especially dangerous when you’re getting chemotherapy treatment. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and shared objects between use at least daily.

 

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others to protect other people in case you are infected, and ask others to do the same.

 

  • Avoid other people as much as possible (social distancing). Avoid leaving home as much as possible. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (2m) between yourself and other people. If you must leave home, avoid places where people are in groups or crowded. Have supplies and food delivered to your home.

 

  • Use CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. The checker can direct you to seek “urgent medical attention” and “go to the Emergency Department” or “stay home and take care of yourself” and “call your provider if you get worse” asfter answering a series of questions about your symptoms.

 

 

It’s very important for people who live with or take care of people with cancer to take steps to keep themselves healthy as well. All of their actions will impact their loved one’s health and well-being.

 

 

Tips for Caregivers & Family Members:

  • Watch for symptoms of infection: fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, cough, or shortness of breath.

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and shared objects between use at least daily.

 

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, especially those who are vulnerable such as cancer patients. 

 

  • Avoid other people as much as possible (social distancing). Avoid leaving home as much as possible. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (2m) between you and other people. If you must leave home, avoid places where people are in groups or crowds. Have supplies and food delivered to your home.

 

  • If you become ill, immediately separate yourself from your family member or friend with cancer. If possible, stay away from their home. If you must remain in the same household, isolate yourself in a separate room if possible, with a separate bathroom. Make arrangements for someone else to care for your family member or friend with cancer.

 

 

Dr. Lisa C. Richardson, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC), joined me to discuss what cancer patients and their caregivers need to know to stay well while staying at home during the COVID-19 crisis. Dr. Richardson outlined the proper steps necessary to help lower the chance of spreading an infection to your family member or friend with cancer.

 

dr lisa c richardson interview makeba giles faith health and home podcast

 

 

 

For more information, please visit:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/survivors/staying-well-at-home.htm and https://www.preventcancerinfections.org/

 

 

About Our Guest:

 

Dr. Lisa C Richardson is the Director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC). As director of DCPC, she provides leadership and direction for all scientific, policy, and programmatic issues related to four national programs: the Colorectal Cancer Control Program, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, and the National Program of Cancer Registries. 

 

Dr. Richardson’s public health service includes the following: medical director for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer and Early Detection Program (1997-1998), medical officer in CDC’s Division of Blood Disorders (1998-2000) and later served as the division director, faculty member at the University of Florida in Medical Oncology collaborating with the Florida Cancer Data System funded by CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (2000-2004), medical officer in the DCPC’s Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch (2004), team lead for Scientific Support and Clinical Translation Team supporting the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (2006-2009).  From 2010 to 2013, Dr. Richardson served as DCPC’s Associate Director for Science and helped set scientific priorities to maintain high-caliber integrity in public health activities.

 

Dr. Richardson received her medical degree and Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master in Public Health from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. Her public health knowledge and expertise has well-positioned her for leading DCPC.

Dr. Lisa C Richardson cdc

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Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

info@faithhealthandhome.com

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