General COVID-19 Information

It is normal and understandable that you might feel anxious about contracting COVID-19, especially if you are or have been affected by cancer. It's important to be informed and aware, and to speak with your doctor or treating team about any concerns you may have.
While it's not certain that people who smoke are more likely to get COVID-19, we know that they are at a higher risk of getting respiratory infections in general.
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For those affected by cancer, the risk of contracting COVID-19 may be heightened due to compromised immunity, so more than ever, our community’s most vulnerable need support.   There are many ways you can volunteer to help someone affected by cancer, such as: Running small errands such as picking up grocery shopping, posting or picking up mail, or mowing or gardening. Driving someone to treatment, as there are many locations where drivers are needed for our Transport to Treatment programs. Offering emotional support – a phone or video call can be a great way to check in with others and offer a listening ear or a nice friendly face. Have a look here to find out more information on how to help people with cancer during COVID-19.
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It is normal to feel anxious and concerned about what easing restrictions will mean for you.
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by Community Manager Community Manager September
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A cancer diagnosis can be a stressful time and can be even more so during COVID-19. There may be some adjustments to the type of surgery you have, where the surgery will be performed or the timing of your surgery.
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by Community Manager Community Manager September
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While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, there is one for the flu (influenza). Cancer Council endorses the Department of Health’s recommendations for people receiving the flu vaccination which includes vaccination for those with higher risk of complications from the flu including people with cancer.   This year, it is more important to be vigilant about the flu because of the COVID-19 pandemic.   If you have or have had cancer your doctor may recommend getting both the flu shot and the pneumococcal vaccination. If it has been recommended for you, it is important for you to get the vaccination to protect yourself.   If you cannot get the vaccination, encourage family and friends you are interacting with to get vaccinated, as this will avoid them passing the infection on to you, which can put you at higher risk of serious illness if you are immunocompromised.   The flu vaccination is now available, and they are generally given by GPs. Community health clinics, pharmacies and hospitals. Sometimes it is also available through workplace or school programs. Receiving a vaccination from April provides optimal protection in the peak period of influenza circulation. You can also talk to your doctor about receiving a booster later if you require it. Under the National Immunisation Program, you may meet the eligible criteria for a free vaccination, check here to find out.
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by Community Manager Community Manager September
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The COVIDSafe app has been designed by the Australian Government to help minimise and trace the spread of COVID-19.
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The level of precautions you need to take as restrictions are eased will vary depending on your individual risk.
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If the COVIDSafe app alerts you that you may be have exposed to COVID-19 you will be asked to click a box in the app to upload your information to the national COVIDSafe team who will contact you with further advice.   You should also contact your treating team to let them know. They will be able to advise you on the best steps to take for your circumstances.   It is important to remember that just because you may have been exposed to the virus does not mean you will definitely have contracted the virus, however it is important that you take all necessary precautions if you think you may have been exposed.
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by Community Manager Community Manager September
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Where possible, cancer information and support services are being provided online, via email or over the phone.
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Across Australia, our Cancer Council 13 11 20 information and support line remains operational.   Our 13 11 20 staff can not only link you to informational, practical, financial and emotional support services that are still operational within Cancer Council but also with services and support offered by a range of other cancer charities. If you are feeling anxious, have questions or need support, please remember that our specially trained team are there for you and can provide practical tips for minimising the risk of infection during this time.   Where possible, many of our services are being made available over the phone, via the internet or email, or Skype.   Cancer Council services, such as transport to treatment vary on a state and territory basis so we encourage you to check with your local state or territory Cancer Council by calling 13 11 20 to confirm which services are operational in your area.   And of course, the Cancer Council Online Community, is available for anyone affected by cancer to access 24x7, every day of the year.
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As restrictions ease you might be feeling uncertain about what this means to you. How much you continue to self-isolate will depend on your individual circumstances and the level of risk to you.
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by Community Manager Community Manager September
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Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy can result in a weakened immune system.
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If your immune system is compromised, then there may be some situations where wearing a mask could reduce your risk from COVID-19.
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If you or a loved one is living with cancer and/or are undergoing treatment, there are additional precautions you can take to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
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If you are currently undergoing cancer treatment or have a blood-related cancer, your immune system may be weaker, which means your body may not be able to as effectively fight COVID-19 as someone who is healthy and well.
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by Community Manager Community Manager September
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