How to Stay Safe
The news surrounding COVID-19 can feel overwhelming. Knowing where to turn for reputable information and ways to protect yourself is critical, especially if you are a pancreatic cancer patient, survivor or caregiver. Our friends at Let’s Win Pancreatic Cancer recently published a helpful article with some great tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus. The takeaways from the article include thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, practicing social distancing and disinfecting commonly used surfaces regularly. If you are a pancreatic cancer patient, consult your care team about specific precautions and protocols, especially if you are currently undergoing treatment. You may also visit reputable sites such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the most up-to-date accurate information on COVID-19.
In addition, our March #PancChat on Twitter also focused on answering participants’ questions around pancreatic cancer and the coronavirus.
Here are a few highlights:
- Pancreatic Cancer patients have compromised immune systems due to chemotherapy and radiation treatments and are therefore more susceptible to catching COVID-19.
- It is critical that these patients take extra precautions to limit social interactions and to practice proper hygiene, such as thoroughly washing their hands before and after eating, going to the bathroom, or coughing or sneezing.
- Patients should also avoid large crowds and practice social distancing by standing 3-6-feet away from people when possible.
- Patients undergoing treatment should consult with their medical team for advice on protecting themselves when traveling to and from appointments and while at the facility. Always call your doctor’s office to ensure your appointment is scheduled as planned.
- It’s a good idea to ask what preventative measures the hospital or treatment facility is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as you may be limited on the number of visitors you can bring.
- If you believe you or a loved one who is battling pancreatic cancer has developed symptoms of the coronavirus, call your primary doctor immediately. If sent to the ER, call ahead to ask about specific protocols, such as using a separate entrance, put in place for people who are reporting COVID-19 symptoms.
To participate in future #PancChat discussions on Twitter or to read more of the COVID-19 chat, just search #PancChat on Twitter.
Don’t forget we at the Lustgarten foundation are here for you and your family, Call us tollfree at 866-789-1000 or send an email to [email protected] We check the messages daily and one of us will get back to you as soon as possible. Please follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider and practice social distancing as much as possible (but remember, Skype and FaceTime are great options to keep you connected with friends and family) and stay healthy and safe.