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SAFETY DURING CHEMO, RADIATION AND COVID-19


The COVID-19 Pandemic has stopped many things in their tracks! We have closed schools, churches, businesses, and the economy is struggling. Life in the COVID-era is different for all of us. However, Cancer is not going to stop for COVID-19. Cancer will still fight its battle against your healthy cells and attack your immune system, especially fueled by processed sugars and saturated fats. See FIGHTBACK FOODS list of 150 Foods that help fight Cancer on our Website on both our Nourish and Educate Tabs. You can print it for free and use as a Shopping List! https://www.fightbackfoods.org/nourish


Importantly, your Immune System absolutely needs an optimized diet full of nutrition intense and calorie dense foods to fuel the fight against Cancer and to help support its ability to metabolize medications. Natural, organic foods, fruits and vegetables can be home-delivered and should be the foundation of any healthy diet, especially for compromised immune systems.


Before, during and after Cancer Treatments, please discuss an essential personal treatment plan with your doctor. Ask questions. Verify that your healthcare team is doing all they can to keep you safe! Wear a mask at all times. Wash your hands. Social distance and eat healthy!


If you are actively receiving chemotherapy or recent Bone Marrow transplant, you are “immunocompromised”. This means that your body is not able to defend itself in the same way a patient who has a competent, uncompromised immune system. You are at higher risk of getting severely ill from many diseases, flus and especially from COVID-19. Take precautions!


The best way to keep yourself safe is to avoid the virus!

  1. Wash your hands often

  2. If no soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

  3. Stay home

  4. If you leave home

  5. Practice social distancing – stay 6 feet away from anyone who does not live in your house

  6. Wear a mask

  7. Avoid all large groups

  8. Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces – tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

  9. Leverage “no contact” grocery home delivery or at store pick-up when possible and practical. Wear gloves and wipe, wash and clean all food packaging and counters.

Make sure that family and friends who are around you frequently or infrequently are taking the same precautions for themselves, so that they DO NOT bring COVID-19 into your home. Utilize phone calls, texting, zoom calls and virtual chatting whenever possible to protect yourself. This is smart … not selfish!


Do NOT stop any treatments or medications without talking first to your healthcare team directly. Healthcare and cancer treatments must continue, or the Cancer will win.

Key Steps:

  1. Determine best location for treatments so as to avoid potential exposure to COVID-19.

  2. Follow pre-appointment protocols recommended.

  3. Eat healthy in the days and weeks leading up to treatments and avoid consuming foods or beverages as directed immediately prior to any procedures.

  4. Consider virtual visits with providers when practical and available.

  5. Schedule appointment times and choose routes carefully to avoid stressful times and traffic, and to ensure social distancing.

The healthcare system is just as shocked as everyone else at this challenging time, and has done an outstanding job of continuing to care for the essential healthcare needs of patients, while also planning for COVID-19 care. Many elective procedures have been delayed or even cancelled at this time. But fighting CANCER and necessary treatments must continue!


Prescription medications:

  1. Keep a 30-day supply of all your medications on hand – prescription, over the counter medications and medical supplies

  2. Use mail order service for prescriptions to decrease exposure to COVID-19

Symptoms of Covid-19:

Be sure to contact your healthcare team immediately if you have any of the following symptoms that are unexpected with your usual Cancer treatment side effects:

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

This is an understandably stressful time. Please take care of your emotional health.

  1. Eat a healthy diet full of good-for-you vitamins, nutrients, and good fats!

  2. Get restful sleep on a regular schedule when practical and possible.

  3. Go outside to get some sunshine

  4. Walk at a social distance

  5. Call your medical team if stress is causing changes to your daily routine for several days in a row

  6. If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others:

  7. Call 911 if you feel like you want to harm yourself or others

  8. Visit the Disaster Distress Helplineexternal icon, https://www.samhsa.gov/disaster-preparedness or call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746

  9. Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotlineexternal icon, https://www.thehotline.org/ or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

  10. Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1-800-273-8255 and TTY or text 1-800-799-4889

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/immunocompromised.html

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