Cancer and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
This page provides advice and information from the NHS and GOV.UK.
The new coronavirus disease, called COVID-19, is at the forefront of many people’s minds. We understand that people with cancer and their families may feel especially worried about coronavirus. People with cancer are at a higher risk of complications – cancer treatment can weaken immune systems and lower your ability to fight infection.
Advice for patients with cancer
You may be worried about how coronavirus will affect you if you have cancer. Every person is different and cancer patients who finished treatment a few years ago or longer will most likely have immune systems that have recovered. It is important to note that whether or not you are currently being treated you should follow the advice of your healthcare team.
The www.gov.uk and the NHS website have the latest advice about coronavirus to help you reduce the risk of getting coronavirus. You should also follow the NHS advice if your relative or friend is having or has recently had cancer treatment or if a relative or friend has a lower ability to fight infection.
If you are experiencing symptoms
If you are currently experiencing symptoms of infection:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
or are aware you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and you are receiving chemotherapy, please call:
Oncology helpline: 01924 546272 8am - 6pm daily. Outside of these hours please contact 0113 2433144
If you have questions about your chemotherapy treatment or appointments please call one of the chemotherapy units:
Pontefract hospital cancer centre
A cancer centre has been created at Pontefract Hospital to enable people to receive care in a safe environment without being exposed to the risk of infection from Covid-19. This is for people who have been referred for tests for suspected cancer, or whose condition could deteriorate if treatment was delayed.
To ensure the safety of all patients and staff, all corridors, waiting areas, clinic rooms, operating theatres and wards will only be accessible to patients who have tested negative for Covid-19. Access to and from other parts of the hospital have been closed off to anyone except patients attending for cancer tests or treatment, and the cancer centre has separate entry and exit routes.
For any other enquiries please call the CANCER HELPLINE on 01924 546 072 available Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
If you are due to attend a hospital appointment but cannot attend please contact the relevant number above to cancel. If your appointment is cancelled, you will be notified in a timely manner.
Please note we are looking at how we deliver hospital appointments. If your appointment is changed to a non face-to-face appointment (e.g. telephone) you will be contacted prior to this with further information.
If you are undergoing cancer treatment
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or if not immediately available use an alcohol-based hand rub. It is especially important to wash your hands before eating or drinking.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (mobile phone, tables, light switches, door handles, sinks, toilets, any eating surfaces).
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as this can transfer the virus from surfaces.
- If you take prescription or over-the-counter medication, make sure you have enough at home or in a place that you are able to access.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick or unwell or have been exposed to the virus or may be at higher risk due to recent travel to a high-risk country.
- Avoid crowds and crowded areas and avoid unnecessary physical contact, such as shaking hands, hugging or kissing. This is especially important if you are currently having chemotherapy.
Please see the following link:
The government is constantly reviewing the advice about coronavirus:
The NHS website has all the latest information about the coronavirus and how to protect you and your family: NHS website