The most up to date government guidance states that those affected by cancer who class as extremely vulnerable are:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing 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
Those who fall under the above categories are strongly advised to practice shielding, a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.
- Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
- Do not leave your house, except to attend essential medical appointments (please speak to your care team to determine which appointments are absolutely essential).
- Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces for example family homes, weddings and religious services.
- Do not go out for shopping, leisure or travel and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact.
- Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
The NHS is writing to people in these groups with advice and information about what to do during this time, and where to access support. If you are affected, and have a scheduled hospital or other medical appointment during this period, talk to your clinical team to ensure you continue to receive the care you need and determine which of these are absolutely essential.
For others with cancer, not in one of the groups outlined above, the Government is advising you should be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. They are:
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible.
- Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information.
- Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs.
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
For official Government advice, please click here.
Please visit the Greater Manchester Cancer Authority for an extensive FAQ surrounding cancer and Covid-19