The COVID-19 crisis means that your clinical team may make changes to your care and treatment to reduce risks to your immediate health and to keep you as well as possible for as long as possible. This may mean balancing the risks of infection against the effects of delaying or changing your cancer treatment. All treatment decisions are made on an individual basis and your team will always discuss any changes with you. 

There are likely to be changes in services as they adapt to meet the ongoing demands of COVID-19. You may notice your healthcare workers are wearing more protective equipment than usual, such as aprons, gloves and masks. It may be that your appointments are changed from face-to-face to telephone appointments. It is important to still attend your hospital appointments if your team advise you to, unless you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you are worried you may have COVID-19, contact your clinical team.

The pandemic has put additional pressures on the NHS but it is important to remember your clinical team are still there to support and advise you. If your condition changes or you experience side effects from your treatment, contact them straightaway. Don't wait for your next routine appointment and don't worry that you are bothering them. They are still there for you..

Further information and useful links .

NHS England have written to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19. If you think you are in this group of people and have not received a letter or been contacted by your GP, you should contact your GP for advice, or contact your medical team if you are currently having cancer treatment. 

Guidelines have been updated and changed as the situation changes. Those who have received a shielding patient letter remain in the clinically extremely vulnerable category and should continue to follow the updated guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable. However, the guidance states you no longer need to shield unless local measures are different.

You can read the up to date guidance for people who are extremely clinically vulnerable on the government website here.

Some areas have local lockdown measures in place. If you live in these areas and are on the shielding patients list, you will receive a text message and letter. These will explain the local measures, what this means for you and where to find further information and support. You can also look on your local council website. 

You can register yourself as an extremely vulnerable person here.

NHS Scotland's advice is available here.

If you think you are highly vulnerable and have not received a letter from NHS Scotland regarding this, you can contact your local authority shielding support line, details here.

Advice and information on services for highly vulnerable people living in Wales is available on the Welsh government website here.

For further information about coronavirus and cancer, visit the Macmillan and Cancer Research UK websites.

The British Gynaecological Cancer Society (BGCS) have information on COVID-19 on their website here.

You can read our summary of the BGCS guidance on caring for ovarian cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic here.

For advice on how to protect both yourself and your loved ones, visit the NHS website.

Page updated on 7 September 2020 at 17:40

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