If you have cancer, you are at a higher risk for more serious outcomes of COVID-19. Cancer is considered an underlying medical condition. And some cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can weaken your immune system, making it harder for you to fight infections.
Talk to your doctor or healthcare team if you have concerns about your risk for COVID-19 as a result of current or past cancer treatment. They are the best source of information if you have questions about your risk based on where you live in Canada or your medical history. They will also keep you updated about any possible changes to your cancer treatments during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Protecting yourself and others from COVID-19
There are no special precautions for people with cancer, their families or their caregivers. But everyone should carefully follow the steps below to protect themselves.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Use cleaning products to disinfect objects and surfaces you commonly touch, such as doorknobs, countertops, phones and toys.
- Stay home if you are feeling sick to avoid spreading germs to others.
- Practise social distancing, even if you are feeling well.
There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against COVID-19. If you are healthy, you do not need to wear a face mask.