Being diagnosed with cancer is almost always a bolt from the blue, changing life as you have known it, on its head. Adding to that stress now is the ongoing pandemic – COVID 19. A cancer patient is immuno-compromised and therefore at more risk from the coronavirus. However, delaying treatment for fear of the virus may result in cancer advancing to life-threatening stages.
So what should the patient do this time of COVID 19 pandemic?
1. First off, do not panic.
Focus on what needs to be done to take the edge off the stress. Consult your doctor. The doctor will ascertain the type of cancer and carefully consider the risks of cancer as against the risk of the virus. Depending on cancer, if treatment calls for surgery, considering the COVID 19 situation, the surgery may be delayed for a few months by giving chemotherapy, Hormone therapy, or Radiotherapy.
In some cases, Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy schedules could be altered to facilitate fewer visits to the hospital. Or in some cases, Chemotherapy could be administered orally in the form of tablets. For yet some very low-grade cancers, treatment can even be delayed for a few weeks or months.
2. Treatment Protocol
Once the treatment protocol is decided if the cancer patient needs to go to the hospital for treatment, ask your doctor about precautions being taken in the hospital. Knowing what to expect will help. At VS extreme precautions are taken for the safety of the patients as well as the healthcare workers.
- Intense screening of everyone entering the hospital premises.
- Hand sanitizers provided at multiple locations across the hospital.
- Insisting that everyone in the hospital premises wears masks and appropriate protective equipment.
- Seating with safe social distancing.
- Protective equipment for all patient-facing health care workers
- Frequent cleaning of premises with suitable cleaning agents.
- Limiting of family members accompanying patients.
- Admission as In-patient or taking up for procedures only if the patient is COVID negative.
- Fumigation of rooms after every patient is discharged.
- Separate isolation wards for patients who may be suspected to have COVID but are awaiting results.
- A dedicated COVID 19 treatment center in a separate location (2 km away) to cater to patients who have become positive.
- Dedicated infection control team overseeing the safety measures being taken and enforcing the adoption and adherence to the stringent safety protocols.
- Minimize patient visits to the hospital by providing teleconsultation options to patients.
Ascertain what precautions you as an individual have to take. Contracting the virus may cause treatment to be stopped or paused. Follow the advice of the doctor and local authorities carefully.
- Stay at home as much as possible.
- Wear a mask.
- Maintain a 6feet distance from everybody.
- Ask friends and family to help with groceries or medicine shopping or arrange for them to be delivered.
- Ask your doctor about what symptoms need to be worried about and the line of contact if faced with any of the symptoms.
- Insist that caregivers, friends, and family visiting you take adequate precautions while outside and at home.
4. Keep your body strong
- Sleep well so that you wake up well-rested.
- Eat healthy food. Include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Exercise daily.
5. Fight off stress
Talk to a trusted friend or loved one about your fears and hopes. There are online groups for people suffering from cancer and cancer survivors. Connect with them and get motivated.
6. Second opinion
If you are uncomfortable at any stage of the treatment go for a second opinion.
Lastly, keep positive. Believe in the doctor and Trust the Almighty.
When it comes to you and your family, we are just a call away. You can reach us on +91-9962242000
You can also consult our Specialists at VS Hospitals through Online Video Consultation. Follow the link https://www.vshospitals.com/teleconsults