Cancer patients are generally at increased risk of illness from infections while going through treatment due to weakened immune systems caused by cancer and its treatments. The extent to which they are vulnerable to COVID-19 specifically however is still unclear and we know that for patients that have finished treatment, immune system functionality may partially or full return.

We do know that anyone with a compromised immune system may be more vulnerable to falling ill. It’s important that anal cancer thrivers speak with their doctor about any special considerations they should take.

What you can do

Anyone currently undergoing treatment or who may be immunosuppressed should consider precautions to limit possible exposure. Our medical advisors are emphasizing the importance of handwashing, social distancing, and taking extra precautions if you have had cancer. See also

CDC guidelines for People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19

American Cancer Society’s Common Questions about COVID-19

American Cancer Society’s podcast on COVID-19

Consult your medical team about any additional specific steps you should take.

Access to care

Thrivers may need to prepare for the possibility of limited medical services as resources at hospitals and other medical centers start to be redirected toward those directly impacted by COVID-19. We recommend speaking to your healthcare team about how you can continue to access care and the medication that you need.

What you can do

  • If you or your loved one are currently receiving ongoing treatment talk to your healthcare provider(s) about whether you might need to make alternative arrangements to ensure continuation of your care.
  • If you or your loved one have a procedure planned within the next several months, talk with your healthcare provider about how the evolving COVID-19 pandemic could affect your procedure and after-care.

We are here for you

As always, we’re here to provide information, support, and resources as this uncertain situation develops.