“Having cancer can be a stressful situation, made more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s really important for our Mob that we take particular care of ourselves, stay isolated as much as possible, especially if you are 50 or over and have one or more chronic conditions, and practise social distancing and good hygiene.”
Message from Professor Gail Garvey, proud Kamilaroi woman and member of Cancer Australia’s Leadership Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Control.
People with cancer are more likely to pick up a cold, flu or virus, which can cause complications because they have weakened immune systems. COVID-19 is one of those infections that can be harmful to people with weakened immune systems.
If you are receiving cancer treatment and you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms, talk to your cancer care team, the same way you would at any other time.
It’s also important to keep in touch with your GP or your cancer care team, especially if you have any new symptoms or side effects of medicines.
They are the best source of information if you are worried or have questions about COVID-19 and your cancer, treatment, and care.
Keep taking your cancer medicines as usual. Your cancer care team will tell you if there are any changes.
They will also tell you if there are any changes in the way they look after you.
Here are a few ways you can make self-isolating easier:
- Call your cancer care team to see if you can do your consultations over the phone or through video chat like Skype or FaceTime.
- Arrange with your chemist to get your medication delivered.
- Have your groceries delivered through your local grocery store and by friends or family.
Now is the time to prioritise your health by practising social distancing precautions and good hygiene practices.
Important links and resources:
There is a lot of information and help available online, follow the links below.
- NSW Health - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Aboriginal health resources
- National Indigenous Australian Agency Coronavirus (COVID-19) support measures for Indigenous Australians
- NACCHO - Advice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People about COVID-19.
- Australian Government Health Alerts.
- Australian Government's National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.
- Australian Government - COVID-19 Mental Health Support.
- HealthDirect coronavirus information and symptom-checker