If you are about to start your cancer treatment know that it is common to feel some worry. You may be worried about the side effects and how the treatment will interfere with your daily life. Undergoing cancer treatment throughout the pandemic brings some added concerns. You must as well consider the risks related to the virus that causes COVID-19. Preparing for cancer treatment requires some extra effort to protect against infection.
Ask Your Doctor about Precautions at the Hospital or Clinic
You may feel more comfortable about going to the hospital or clinic for appointments if you understand the measures being taken to protect you against infection. Common ways hospital and clinic are making cancer treatment safer include:
- Screening for COVID-19 Symptoms: the office of your doctor may contact you a few days before your scheduled appointment to ask you about any symptoms. Some of the COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, chills, shortness of breath, and loss of sense of taste and smell.
- Virtual Appointments: Your doctor can talk to you through video calls or phone calls.
- Testing The Virus: It may be recommended by your doctor that you go through testing for infection before treatments even if you don’t have any symptoms.
- Precautions In Appointments: It may be required to wear a mask when you visit your doctor’s clinic. You may also have a checking of temperature at the entrance and be asked about any possible symptoms.
- Revising Plans For Safety: To choose the cancer treatment that is best for you, your doctor cautiously considers the risks of your cancer against infection. Changes in your treatment might be needed to limit the procedure you will need to lessen your risk from COVID-19.
Take Steps to Stay Healthy
Another way to prepare for cancer treatment is to do what you can to keep yourself healthy. These include:
1. Protect yourself from COVID-19
If you develop an infection with coronavirus while having cancer treatment, your treatment might be paused or stopped. To prevent this, follow the recommendation of your doctor and local health officials to lessen your risk of contracting the virus. Stay home as much as possible, wash your hands often with soap and water, and wear a cloth face covering when you must go out.
2. Arrange for help
Ask family and friends for help such as pharmacy and grocery delivery, so that you can stay home as much as possible during cancer treatment.
3, Have a clear plan for contacting your health care team
Understand how and when to contact your health care providers when you have questions. If you’re worried about COVID-19, you may be hesitant to go to the emergency room if you have disturbing symptoms. Question your doctor which symptoms need an emergency so you will know when it is needed to seek help.
4. Work to stay healthy during and before cancer treatment
To keep your body strong enough for cancer treatment, you need to make healthy choices. Get adequate sleep so that you wake up feeling relaxed. Choose a healthy diet that’s full of vegetables and fruits. Aim to get some exercise most days of the week. Find healthy ways to decrease stress. Beginning treatment feeling healthy may make it easier to cope with treatment side effects.