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 Kidney Cancer Support Network Newsletter

Coronavirus: Advice for cancer patients

In a national attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus throughout the UK, we have all now been asked to stay at home and follow 'social distancing' measures. However, 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

Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives

Answers to your frequently asked questions

Please visit our guide to the coronavirus outbreak on our website for answers to the following questions:
  • What is coronavirus?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What is the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus
  • What should I do if I am living with cancer or have had cancer in the past?
  • Who is at highest risk of coronavirus?
  • Does coronavirus affect the kidneys?
  • Does having one kidney increase my risk of coronavirus?
  • What will happen to my cancer treatment?
  • What effect has the coronavirus had on the supply of medicines?
  • Where can I get further advice?
This guide is based on current advice and information released by the UK Government in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The information is updated when new guidance is released.

Please check our coronavirus page for updates regularly. 

Who is at highest risk of coronavirus?

Last week the NHS wrote to those people considered to be at highest clinical risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) to inform them that they should stay at home at all times and avoid all face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks. This is set out in the Public Health England guidance published on 21 March 2020. This is known as ‘shielding’. The GPs and hospital clinicians looking after people in these groups have also received letters informing them of the highest clinical risk group and have been asked to review their patient lists and to add in any patients they think should be on that list. People falling into this highest clinical risk group include:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients
  2. People with specific cancers:
    • People with cancer and are having chemotherapy
    • People with lung cancer and are having radical radiotherapy
    • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
  4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

The Government have also produced a list of frequently asked questions about shielding, which can be accessed here: Frequently Asked Questions about shielding

Further information

Key up-to-date information from the government (updated 31 March 2020):

Travel advice:

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