COVID-19 Talking Points for Patients With Cancer, Caregivers, and Family Members

May 12, 2020 by Pamela K. Ginex, EdD, RN, OCN® Senior Manager, Evidence Based Practice and Inquiry

By Lisa C. Richardson, MD, MPH, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control

To keep our communities safe and the most vulnerable people healthy, everyone needs to stay at home as much as possible. But patients with cancer and survivors must take extra steps to help maintain their health and safety. This is especially important for patients getting cancer treatment, which can weaken the immune system and lead to more severe infection. Taking precautions is also very important for older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions or other risk factors. These patient education talking points can help people with cancer, as well as their family members and caregivers, stay healthy while staying home.

How Patients Can Protect Themselves and Others

If a caregiver or household member becomes infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, the patient with cancer is at risk for infection as well. The best way to prevent an illness like COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to it. These talking points can help patients protect themselves and others while they’re at home.

If Patients or Caregivers Get Sick

Prepare for Medical Needs

Patients with cancer may need medicine or special medical equipment.

Find more information about COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and check out ONS’s COVID-19 resources page for oncology nurses.

Copyright © 2020 by the Oncology Nursing Society. User has permission to print one copy for personal or unit-based educational use. Contact for quantity reprints.