Coronavirus (COVID-19) that threatens the entire worldmay progress more severely in cancer patients and cause life-threatening risks. Since cancer patients may have weaker immune systems which may in turn increase susceptibility for infections, patients must take precautions more carefully, says Anadolu Medical Center Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Şeref Kömürcü: “Cancer patients must be careful about isolation and balanced nutrition as well as hygiene rules more than ever.”
The most widely seen types of cancer in the world are lung, breast, bowel, prostate and skin cancers respectively. In Turkey, women generally suffer from breast, lung, thyroid and bowel cancers whereas men suffer more from lung, prostate and colorectal cancers. Anadolu Medical Center Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Şeref Kömürcü has indicated that on average 200,000 new cancer diagnoses are made every year. Here are his tips for cancer patients to protect themselves against coronavirus:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds once you’ve touched a surface. When you don’t have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizers or 80 percent alcohol based cologne.
- Do not touch the face with your hands. It is especially important that you do not touch the eyes, nose and mouth. These are where the virus gets in.
- Do not shake hands or touch anyone, family members included. Make sure there’s a 1-1.5 meter distance between you and other people. Do not accept visitors as much as possible.
- Stay away from people who are coughing and/or sneezing. You may contract the virus via droplets. Wear a mask when necessary, especially when you go out.
- Stay away from indoor spaces, do not visit crowded places.
- Do not travel for a while.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Exercise in line with your doctor’s instructions. Working out gives your immune system a boost.
- Make sure you sleep well. A good night’s sleep strengthens the immune system.
- Consume fruits and vegetables recommended by your doctor. Eating healthy is important for the strength of your immune system.
- Stay away from bad habits such as smoking.
- Make sure you stay at home as much as possible, do not accept visitors.
- Do not go to the hospital except for emergencies. Do not skip your chemotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted treatments. At a time of pandemic such as this, make sure you wear masks and gloves when you visit the hospital.
- Consult your physician if you develop complaints such as cough, fever and shortness of breath.
- Do not panic as COVID-19 is temporary, take your precautions instead.