Answers to questions Norton Cancer Institute patients may have about coronavirus

As a cancer patient or someone who has completed treatment, you may be at greater risk from the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

As a cancer patient or someone who has completed treatment, you may be at greater risk from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Norton Cancer Institute and all of Norton Healthcare have developed a series of protocols to help protect you and the community. All Norton Healthcare facilities have resumed operations and implemented additional measures to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

As a cancer survivor, am I at higher risk of getting sick from the coronavirus?

You may have a weakened immune system from your past cancer treatments, which can make you more susceptible to having complications from COVID-19. Check with your provider about your situation.

What can I do if I have cancer or have completed treatment?

Some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy can weaken your immune system.

For now, the best way to prevent a coronavirus infection is to avoid exposure to the virus. For cancer patients, that means following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for people with high risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and before and after coming in contact with others.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medication and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, countertops, phones, handles, faucets, sinks and toilets.

If you must go out in public:

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
  • Avoid crowded places.
  • Wear a cloth face covering; be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing it; and wash your hands right after removal.

Should I continue getting cancer treatments at a medical facility?

Norton Cancer Institute and Norton Healthcare have implemented steps to keep you safer when coming for your cancer treatments.

Patients now wait outside the building or in their cars rather than in a waiting room and go directly into the treatment area. Treatment areas and high-touch common areas are frequently cleaned, with hospital-grade disinfectants that are more effective than supermarket wipes. Also, we have plenty of supplies such as disinfectant and personal protective equipment for your safety and the community’s.

If you take oral cancer drugs, you may be able to have prescribed treatments sent directly to you, so you don’t have to go to a pharmacy.

Norton Telehealth may be an option for some follow-up visits. Discuss with your provider whether the convenience and social distancing benefits of telehealth are right for your next visit.

Norton Cancer Institute

We offer multidisciplinary oncology care from specialists at the leading edge of cancer treatment.

Make an appointment.

(502) 629-HOPE (4673)

What should I do if I participate in a clinical trial?

Contact your provider or clinical trial team. Special measures may have been implemented as part of your trial.

The Institutional Review Boards work with investigators to make changes that will provide flexibility while maintaining patient safety.

This is all scary — can I get help just coping emotionally?

Coping with cancer in the face of the coronavirus pandemic can bring up a wide range of feelings you’re not used to dealing with.

The Norton Cancer Institute Behavioral Oncology Program is staffed by a team trained and equipped to care for the emotional and mental health needs of patients and their families.

Don’t hesitate to take advantage of Norton Cancer Institute Resource Centers. At five locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana, we offer patients and their families a place to turn for support, assistance and education. Our centers provide personal attention to address patients’ physical and emotional needs before, during and after cancer treatment. Our centers’ mission is to offer comfort as well as to educate.

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