Cancer & COVID-19

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Suitable for:

  • Professionals
  • Macmillan Professionals

Format: E-Learning

Equipping health and social care professionals with the information needed to provide support for people with cancer during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Information about the disease know as COVID-19 and the effect the pandemic is having on cancer services in the UK.

In this COVID-19 outbreak, the major risk to people with cancer is the inability to receive necessary treatment, as well as medical and supportive services in the usual way. Guidance has highlighted those most at risk and necessary shielding and self-isolation advised.

Equally, guidance about approach to treatment using prioritisation has been developed by National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) for Systemic Anti-Cancer Treatment (SACT) and radiotherapy which changes the usual approach to multi-disciplinary team (MDT) decision making around treatment for all cancers.

As professionals, and within your MDTs, you may have been grappling with how best to manage patients during COVID-19 and how to balance risks and benefits of different treatments in a way you have never done before due to guidance, then communicating this to patients by telephone or video consultation.

Because there is guidance and FAQ’s for different cancer treatment modalities and regimes and for different cancer types, for ease, we have collated in this section:

  • Guidance for SACT and radiotherapy
  • Guidance for Stem cell transplants
  • FAQ’s by tumour site
  • Acute Oncology guidance
  • Guidance around surgery (NHSE releasing this 6th April)

We recognise the emotiveness of having these conversations with people that are distressed about having their treatment plans changed or paused. Also, how hard it is to prioritise in a way that is not how you would usually work; and the subsequent emotional impact to yourself and members of your MDT. However, guidance is meant to help protect your patients from exposure to COVID-19 and support you in setting up delivery of treatment that reduces their exposure and risk.

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