The constant news about the worldwide coronavirus outbreak can be worrying. Coronavirus has been the main news story since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, at the end of December 2019. Since then, the outbreak has reached the UK and the number of infected people continues to rise. People with cancer and their families might feel especially worried about the virus, as cancer and its treatment can lower your ability to fight infection. To keep yourselves safe, we recommend that you follow Government advice.

Below is some information about coronavirus, and links to websites where you can find the latest information. There is also some advice on coronavirus for people with cancer in the form of a set of frequently asked questions produced by the One Cancer Voice group of cancer charities.

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are responsible for different illnesses, including the common cold. The latest outbreak started in an animal in China and was then transmitted to humans.

The current outbreak is a new strain of coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and has not been previously diagnosed in humans. SARS-CoV-2 infects humans to cause coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

The following is a list of the main symptoms that may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:

  • High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

 

If you are worried about symptoms, please call NHS 111 or go to the NHS 111 coronavirus advice website. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.

Staying at home if you have symptoms (self-isolation)

UPDATED: 13 July 2020

If your symptoms are mild, NHS 111 will usually advise you and anyone you live with not to leave your home. This is called self-isolation.

  • If you have symptoms, however mild, OR you have had a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result you should immediately self-isolate at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. If you have a positive test result, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts
  • Consider alerting people who you do not live with and have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19
  • Anyone who lives in your household but does not have symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person in your home started having symptoms. If anyone else in your household starts displaying symptoms, they must stay at home for at least 7 days from when their symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in their original 14-day isolation period
  • If you still have a high temperature after 7 days or longer you must continue to self-isolate until you feel better.
  • You do not need to self-isolate after 7 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone
  • If you have symptoms, you should stay as far away from other members of your household as possible. It is especially important to stay away from anyone who is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable with whom you share a household
  • Reduce the spread of infection in your home by washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, and cover coughs and sneezes
  • If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online service
  • If you develop new COVID-19 symptoms at any point after ending your first period of isolation then you must follow the same guidance on self-isolation again.
Read more about self-isolation if you have symptoms of coronavirus.
Read the government stay at home guidance for further information and information about ending self- or household-isolation.

It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

  • HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.The NHS has made a video to explain how to wash your hands.
  • FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).

 

Guidance on social distancing

UPDATED: 20 November 2020

This guidance applies to England only. Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also introduced measures to combat the second wave of coronavirus infection in a way that is safe and continues to protect the NHS.

To prevent COVID-19 case numbers rising across the whole of the UK and in other countries the single most important action we can all take is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, you must:

  1. Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Close certain businesses and venues.

These new measures will reduce the growth rate of the virus, which will:

  • Prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed
  • Ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open
  • Ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work.

 

On Thursday 5 November these national restrictions replaced the Local Covid Alert Level measures.

The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of that period, we will return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

These measures will be underpinned by law. Police and other authorities will have powers to give fines and break up gatherings.

You can help to protect your friends and family by downloading the NHS COVID-19 App.

There is separate guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection.

This guidance applies in England only and can also be found on the NHS website here. The guidance also refers to the NHS test and trace programme for testing people with coronavirus symptoms and tracing close contacts for self-isolation. There is also guidance for getting tested for COVID-19.

The Government have also issued guidance on social distancing, which explains how you can protect yourself and others from coronavirus when meeting people that you do not live with. At all times, it’s important to maintain social distancing from people you do not live with to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. You should only have close contact with people outside of your household if you are in a support bubble with them. Here is some guidance on making a support bubble with another household.

Where you cannot stay 2 metres apart you should stay more than 1 metre apart, as well as taking extra steps to stay safe. For example:

  • Wear a face covering: on public transport and in many indoor spaces, you must wear a face covering by law, unless you are exempt
  • Move outdoors, where it is safer and there is more space
  • If indoors, make sure rooms are well ventilated by keeping windows and doors open.

Coming out of lockdown

UPDATED: 23 November 2020

The Government has issued new national restrictions which are in force from 5 November 2020.

The country will come out of national lockdown on 2nd December. The Government has procured hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to be made available across the UK, and are preparing for a nationwide vaccination programme to be deployed across the whole country from next month. By the spring, these advances should reduce the need for economic and social restrictions. There is a route out of this epidemic, provided the vaccines are approved and successfully deployed.

However, we must be patient, and realistic. There are still months ahead, and in the meantime we must keep the virus under control. The Government has released a plan for coming out of lockdown using the three tier system:

Tier 1 – the Government will reinforce the importance of working from home wherever possible.

Tier 2 – pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals (like a full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal), along with accompanying drinks.

Tier 3 – all hospitality will close except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through; hotels and other accommodation providers must close (except for specific exemptions, including people staying for work purposes or where they cannot return home); and indoor entertainment venues must also close.

It is still unknown which tier each part of the country will be in. Read more in the Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan here and the three tier system here (updated 23 November 2020).

Here are some posters describing the three tier system: Tier posters: medium, high and very high

Christmas bubbles

UPDATED: 29 November 2020

The UK Government and Devolved Administrations recognise have come together to enable people to be with their friends and family over Christmas. For this reason, the Government is changing some social contact restrictions for a short period of time. However, we must continue to take personal responsibility to limit the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones, particularly if they are vulnerable. For many, this will mean that it isn’t possible to celebrate Christmas in the way you normally would. Guidance for the Christmas period can be found here:

Meeting friends and family

There are different rules on meeting friends and family, depending on when you meet them.

From 2 December to 23 December you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area.

From 23 December to 27 December you may choose to form a Christmas bubble. A Christmas bubble will be able to spend time together in private homes, to attend places of worship, or meet in a public outdoor place. In all other settings, people should follow local restrictions in the tier in which they are staying. If you do not form a Christmas bubble, you should continue to follow the guidance for the tier in your area. You may still meet with your support bubble or childcare bubble.

Between 23 and 27 December:

  • You can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • You can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • You cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • You can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • You can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
  • You can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying (see above)
  • You cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble

You should travel to meet those in your Christmas bubble and return home between the 23 and 27 December. Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.

Forming a bubble if you are vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable carries additional risks – see advice for clinically vulnerable people.

From 28 December you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area. Christmas bubbles will no longer apply.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people

UPDATED:  13 November 2020

The Government are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to continue to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

New national restrictions come into place on 5 November for everyone in England.

These restrictions:

  • Require people to stay at home, except for specific purposes
  • Prevent people gathering with those they do not live with, except for specific purposes
  • Close certain businesses and venues.

 

The new guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people will help protect you from coronavirus (COVID-19). It covers things such as socialising, working, schools and universities, travel, shopping accessing medicines and support. The Government will also write to you with a version of this guidance. An easier to read version of the guidance can be found here.

These new shielding measures will apply nationally for 4 weeks up to 2 December. At the end of the period, we will look to return to a regional approach and will issue further guidance at the time.

This guidance is Government advice and it’s your personal choice whether to follow it. If you are considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus you need to stay at home as much as possible to keep interactions with other people to a minimum.

People at high risk from coronavirus include people who:

  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
  • Are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
  • Are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
  • Have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • Have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • Have been told by a doctor you have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
  • Have a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
  • Are taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)
  • Have a serious heart condition and are pregnant.

 

General shielding advice

The guidance for people who are considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable remains as follows:

  • You should always follow general social distancing advice
  • Try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble)
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people, such as on public transport, in shops and in hospitals
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Do not touch things that people you do not live with have touched, including food and drinks.

 

For practical tips on staying safe, see the guidance for people at high risk from coronavirus (shielding).

You will still be able to get:

  • Local volunteer support by contacting your local authority
  • Prescriptions, essential items and food you buy delivered by NHS Volunteer Responders
  • Priority slots for supermarket deliveries (if you previously registered for free food parcels).

 

The Government has taken advice from clinicians, GPs, charities, the voluntary sector and patient groups.

One Cancer Voice, a group of charities led by Cancer Research UK, have issued a questions and answer leaflet for cancer patients. However, this document was last updated in June 2020, and some of the advice no longer applies.

One Cancer Voice have also issued a Covid and Cancer 12 point plan to describe how cancer services can be restored and recovered, both locally and at a national level. We would urgently like to see a national plan published, detailing how the Government and the NHS intends to manage cancer services over the next few months as we attempt to control COVID-19, and how we fully recover services and get back on track to deliver transformed cancer outcomes. Close monitoring and adequate action is needed to ensure inequalities are addressed. In addition, there are plans to significantly transform cancer services to deliver the improved outcomes that patients in this country expect and deserve.

 

Clinically vulnerable people

Guidance for clinically vulnerable people is similar to that for clinically extremely vulnerable people, including children. It advises on social distancing measures to reduce social interaction between people and reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers.

If you have any of the following health conditions, you may be clinically vulnerable, meaning you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Although you can meet people outdoors and indoors, you should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene:

People at moderate risk from coronavirus include people who:

  • Are 70 or older
  • Have a lung condition that’s not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis)
  • Have heart disease (such as heart failure)
  • Have diabetes
  • Have chronic kidney disease
  • Have liver disease (such as hepatitis)
  • Have a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)
  • Have a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections
  • Are taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids)
  • Are very obese (a BMI of 40 or above)
  • Are pregnant – see advice about pregnancy and coronavirus

If you’re at moderate risk from coronavirus, you can go out to work (if you cannot work from home) and for things like getting food or exercising. But you should try to stay at home as much as possible.

Unlike people at high risk, you will not get a letter from the NHS.

 

Other things that can affect your risk

There are other things that can make you more likely to get seriously ill from coronavirus, including if you are:

  • Over 60 – your risk increases as you get older
  • From a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

See the full report on disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 on GOV.UK

 

Where can I get help?

If you are vulnerable, shielding, or self-isolating and are in need of support, NHS volunteer responders may be able to help with shopping, collection of prescription medicines or a friendly chat. There is also guidance available for adult social care and you can register for support on the Government’s website here. Read the Government’s Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know here.

If you have any concerns about this advice, please contact us.

 

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

These measures apply to England – but there may be different rules if you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland.

The UK’s COVID-19 alert level is now at level three. This means that the virus is considered to be in general circulation. The Government has released the Government’s plan for recovery to return life to as near normal as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS. Currently this plan only applies to people living in England.

Government plan for lockdown – England only

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 31 October (shortened version here), because the coronavirus cases continue to rise England will be going back into lockdown on 5 November for a month. You should continue to avoid close contact and remain socially distant from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble.

It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

  • HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. You are required by law to wear face coverings on public transport, and in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies, post offices, and indoor transport hubs.
  • SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors). You should stay alert when you leave home and continue to avoid close contact  from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble – even inside other people’s homes.

 

The new national restrictions are explained in the following document. However, from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December, everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:

  • For education
  • For work, if you cannot work from home
  • For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household
  • For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm
  • To shop for food and essentials
  • And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

Read the new national restrictions here.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

These measures apply to England – but there may be different rules if you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland.

The Government has released the Government’s plan for recovery to return life to as near normal as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS. Currently this plan only applies to people living in England.

The UK government pledged to test 500,000 people per day for coronavirus by the end of October 2020.

The test currently available is a PCR test to determine whether you currently have COVID-19. There are also antibody tests to determine whether you have previously had COVID-19 and have immunity to the virus are not yet available.

Patients in hospital with coronavirus symptoms have been tested to find out if they have COVID-19. Going forward, everyone admitted to hospital will be tested, regardless of the reason for their admission. If you are not in hospital and would like to be tested, you must meet certain criteria.

The Government have issue guidance on coronavirus testing (5 October 2020), including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested:

  • Who can be tested
  • Registering for a home test kit
  • The testing process
  • Testing in care homes
  • List of essential workers and those prioritised for testing (England only)

You can get a throat and nose swab test to see if you currently have coronavirus. This test is most effective within 3 days of the symptoms developing.

Who can be tested

The following groups of people can ask for a test through the NHS website:

  • Anyone living in England and Wales who has symptoms of coronavirus, whatever their age
  • Anyone living in Scotland and Northern Ireland aged 5 and over who has symptoms of coronavirus.

 

The following groups of people can access priority testing through the NHS:

  • Essential workers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Anyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over 5 years old who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with an essential worker
  • Children under 5 years old in England and Wales who have symptoms of coronavirus and live with an essential worker (this test must be performed by a parent or guardian).

 

See the guidance on testing for essential workers and the list of essential workers. You can apply for a test online if you are an essential worker.

Most people infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) have mild to moderate symptoms and there is no evidence showing that COVID-19 adversely affects the kidneys. A small proportion of patients with COVID-19 develop severe infection and require hospitalisation. Of these hospitalised patients, a small proportion have a decline in their kidney function (glomerular filtration rate, GFR). For more information, please see the COVID-19 page on the Kidney Care UK website.

COVID-19 is a new virus and doctors still are learning about how this virus affects people. The long-term effects on kidney function in survivors of COVID-19 infection is not known.

If you are living with one kidney or you have lost part of a kidney due to a partial nephrectomy but you are otherwise healthy, then your risk of being infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) would likely be similar to someone with two kidneys.

However, every person is unique, and many factors can result in increased risk of COVID-19. If you are worried, you should ask your GP or healthcare team for information about your own individual risk.

The Government are advising people with long-term (chronic) kidney disease to be particularly stringent in following the social distancing guidelines. This is because people with chronic kidney disease are at increased risk of complications if they get COVID-19 infection. Most patients with kidney cancer do not have chronic kidney disease.

If you have chronic kidney disease, you can find more information about your risk of COVID-19 here.

Treatments for kidney cancer include the following:

 

The Government has issued guidance to define those people who are extremely vulnerable to severe illness if they are infected with coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes people who are on immunotherapy and/or targeted therapy, such as protein kinase inhibitors, for the treatment of advanced or metastatic cancer. These people should have been sent a letter from their healthcare team asking them to follow the ‘shielding’ guidelines to keep themselves safe.

What will happen to my cancer treatment?

You might have questions about your ongoing cancer treatment, such as:

  • Will it be postponed?
  • Should I still go to hospital appointments?
  • How will my hospital decide whether I am a priority for treatment? Will there be national rules?
  • If treatment, including stem cell transplants, are deferred and I begin to relapse will this limit my eligibility for future lines of treatment?
  • Should I start chemotherapy treatment (particularly if it is a 2nd/3rd line for “mop up” ) or postpone?
  • As a stage 4 patient will I be given life support if I have breathing difficulties due to the virus?
  • If I get the virus and recover, will this affect my cancer treatment and outlook?

 

Essential and urgent cancer diagnosis, treatment and care will continue. NHS staff are working hard to ensure cancer treatments can continue in the safest and best possible way. To do this during the pandemic there may need to be some changes to how treatments are delivered.

  • Cancer treatments, especially operations and chemotherapy, are riskier now than before. Cancer and its treatment can weaken the immune system, making a person more vulnerable to the virus.
  • In some cases, it may be safer to delay cancer treatment or give it in a different way, to reduce the risk from coronavirus.
  • Any decisions about surgery and other treatments will be based on how urgent it is and the level of risk. Your safety is a priority in making any decisions.

 

Changes are being made to the way services are delivered to keep patients and staff safe.

  • Most hospitals have started to use more telephone consultations as a way of helping people to avoid long waits in clinics and for treatment. You may be called to arrange your treatments in this way, and planned treatments may need to be moved to help with running a smooth service.
  • Some patients may have their chemotherapy at home or have fewer radiotherapy appointments, to reduce visits to hospital while continuing with their treatment.
  • For some people, it may be safer to delay surgery. Your doctor may suggest a different treatment in the meantime, such as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy.

 

Some patients may start to see their treatment move to a different hospital as the NHS sets up ‘cancer hubs’ to coordinate treatment and ensure it can continue safely.

  • In London, a ‘cancer hub’ led by The Royal Marsden in collaboration with University College London Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, is co- ordinating cancer services across the capital.
  • Similar models are being set up in other parts of the country (e.g. Christie Hospital in Manchester), drawing on learning from Italy, China and London. The hubs will support hospitals across the NHS and independent sector to work together to maximise capacity and ensure that people receive the treatment that they need.
  • You will remain under the care of your treating hospital and clinical specialist team and should contact them with any questions about your treatment and care.

 

Your cancer specialist team should discuss your treatment and care with you, including any changes. Your doctors will always have your safety at the centre of any decisions they make.

Nationally, the NHS has issued advice to clinicians to help inform these conversations with patients (updated 23 September 2020). The advice is also there to help clinicians to manage risks and prioritise treatment on the basis of clinical need.

Your clinical team are best placed to talk with you about your treatment and appointments. They will work with you to determine the best course of action in each individual situation. If you have any concerns or questions about your treatment, please speak to your clinical team.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) are in regular contact with both the pharmaceutical companies that supply medicines and the Government about any impact that the coronavirus could have on the supply of medicines to the NHS in the UK.

Pharmaceutical companies are not currently reporting any concerns about shortages of medicines or loss of manufacturing capacity as a result of COVID–19 restrictions.

There are robust procedures in place to manage the supply of medicines in the UK, and pharmaceutical companies will be taking all possible measures to secure supply for patients in line with Government guidance.

More information about the ABPI response to the coronavirus outbreak can be found here

We understand you might be worried about going to hospital for radiotherapy treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has teamed up with the Society and College of Radiographers, the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support to release tailored coronavirus information for patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment: Protecting people with cancer from coronavirus when going for radiotherapy

Cancer centres have continued to provide radiotherapy treatment throughout the coronavirus pandemic. But we want to reassure you that cancer teams are doing all they can to keep everyone safe.

Radiotherapy remains an effective treatment for many people with cancer and is an important therapy for curing cancer, as well as relieving symptoms.

Unlike some other cancer treatments, radiotherapy does not normally affect your immune system, making it one of the safest treatment options as we work around coronavirus.

Cancer centres have continued to run radiotherapy services throughout the coronavirus pandemic, where safe to do so. It is important that you continue to go for treatment when advised by your cancer team.

The safety of people with cancer and the staff looking after you is a top priority for hospitals. Cancer teams are using a range of precautions to protect you from coronavirus during your visit to the radiotherapy department.

Precautions might include:

  • Asking if you have symptoms of coronavirus before you go for treatment, and on arrival in the department
  • Changing how to get into the radiotherapy department so that you only move in areas of the hospital that are protected from coronavirus
  • Minimising contact in communal waiting areas by arranging seating at least two metres apart or asking you to wait outside the department until your cancer team phones for you to go in. Relatives may have to wait outside the department
  • Your cancer team wearing personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves and aprons. They may also ask you to wear a face mask
  • Asking you to wash your hands when you enter and leave the department
  • Giving shorter courses of radiotherapy where possible and backed by good evidence. For example, many cancer centres are now giving people with breast cancer fewer radiotherapy doses (which means fewer hospital visits) thanks to the results of recent trials
  • Delaying radiotherapy for a short time if it is safe to do so. For example, for prostate cancer, where hormone treatments can safely be used instead.

 

Please talk to your cancer team if you have any concerns about the risks of attending your radiotherapy appointment.

Are you self-isolating and in need of support? Find out more about how an NHS Volunteer Responder can help you.

We know that some kidney cancer patients have not received a letter to inform them that they are at the highest clinical risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) and they are extremely vulnerable. However, these people are experiencing problems in getting essential shopping and collecting repeat prescriptions, and still require help or support due to shielding or isolation.

If you don’t have support from family or friends, help is available from the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme. If you are currently not supported and need some help with shopping, a prescription collection or a friendly chat, then the NHS Volunteer Responders are ready to help. Please take a look at the following link for details on how to connect:

 

NHS Volunteer Responders

 

 

 

Help may also be available via your local council; they might have a volunteer scheme running locally. Each council website should have a call centre helpline number for help and support during these challenging times.

The coronavirus pandemic has been the main priority for the NHS since the outbreak began. There are millions of people living with cancer who still need the right care, treatment and support. NHS workers are doing their absolute best to deal with coronavirus under very difficult circumstances, but it’s vital that cancer diagnosis and treatment continues as much as possible.

The Government have told local NHS leaders that they have certain duties towards people living with cancer during this time. Macmillan have produced a guide designed to help you to understand and act on your rights, as part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s Forgotten ‘C’ campaign.

Download the guide here: Cancer and Coronavirus – know your rights in England

Everyone’s help is needed in the fight against COVID-19. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have partnered with the NHS to launch a new service that will allow people across the UK to sign up for information on the new COVID-19 vaccine studies.

There are a number of vaccines being identified and safety-tested at the moment, but only large scale studies can give scientists the information needed about how effective they are. The new NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry will help speed up scientists’ search for people willing to be involved in vaccine studies. This could potentially lead to an effective vaccine against coronavirus being identified and made available to the UK public earlier.

The service is available to anyone aged 18 or over, living in the UK. By registering, you are not signing up to take part in a specific trial or study. Instead, researchers who are working on vaccine studies supported by the NIHR will be able to search for volunteers who have signed up to the service and contact them with further information.

We need as many people to sign up as possible in order to speed up research against COVID-19.

Volunteer now!

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