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Cancer Patient Challenges During Covid-19

cancer and covid

Cancer Patients Are At Risk of Covid-19

Some people are at greater risk than others of getting Covid-19. The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) lists the following conditions that can increase your risk:

  • Adults 65 and older
  • Nursing home or long-term care facility residents
  • People with weak or compromised immune systems
  • People with lung disease
  • People with heart conditions
  • People who are obese
  • People with one of many medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver disease

Many illnesses and factors can weaken one’s immune system. Smoking, taking steroids, having cancer, and getting cancer treatment are just some of the factors that can increase your risk of getting Covid-19.

Having Cancer During Covid-19 Means Controlling Fear And Anxiety

Having cancer is stressful enough. Tolerating treatments and side effects can cause physical discomfort and pain, as well as anxiety and depression. Now, cancer patients also have to worry about getting Covid-19 and about getting physical and emotional support.
Having an underlying condition like cancer that puts you at risk of getting Covid-19 can result in paralyzing fear and anxiety.

The CDC recognizes that the situation for those at risk is a difficult one to navigate. The agency suggests the following way to ease stress:

  • Take breaks from reading, watching or hearing about the pandemic news
  • Take care of your body by doing yoga, mediating, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • Find a moment each day to unwind and relax doing something you enjoy
  • Stay connected to others and share how you are feeling
  • Reach out to a healthcare professional if your fear and anxiety persist
  • Be prepared to stay home for an extended time-have medication, household supplies, and food

Caregivers Can Help Cancer Patients Ease Fears About Treatment

Many cancer patients report that during this pandemic, one of their main concerns is that they are no longer receiving attentive, thoughtful cancer care. If you are helping a loved one or friend through cancer treatment, Covid-19 has likely sidelined much of your in-person contact. It has also changed the way cancer treatments, and doctors’ appointments are conducted.
You must reassure your loved one that he or she is getting the care he or she deserves.

Even if you can’t be there in person, ask questions about treatment before or after it occurs. Did the chemotherapy change? Does the new protocol skip any steps in treatment or testing? Did the doctor meet with you or call you to discuss your condition? Do you want me to call someone for you to ask questions? Did an appointment get canceled or postponed?

Your friend may need an advocate during this time to double-check or get clarification on some things. When he or she is the only one present at treatments or other visits, it may be hard to speak up or ask tough questions. You can be of tremendous service by allowing your loved one to discuss issues and concerns freely.

Send a Helpful Cancer Care Gift Box From Rock The Treatment

At Rock the Treatment, we make it easy to let someone with cancer know you care and support them on their difficult journey. If someone you love has cancer, send a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.


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