There are still many unknowns about how COVID-19 affects certain populations. While cancer patients are at increased risk of illness from infection while going through treatment, the extent they are vulnerable to COVID-19 specifically is still unclear. If you have finished treatment, immune system functioning may partially or fully 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, and the American Cancer Society’s podcast on COVID-19 for cancer patients and caregivers. 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.
Cloth Face Coverings
The CDC advises that you wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
Who should wear? People older than 2 years of age in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Who should not wear? Anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
We are here for you
As always, we’re here to provide information, support, and resources as this uncertain situation develops.
- Our Peer-to-Peer Support Program for anal cancer thrivers and their caregivers remains available to you. Connect with a peer or inquire about the program by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our staff is available to answer any questions or address any challenges that you may face. You can reach us by emailing email@example.com.
- Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for news, updates, and guidance.