Clinical opinions / 24 Mar, 2020

COVID-19 and cancer – your questions answered

Icon Writers

Facebook Live with Dr Ian Irving and Dr John Bashford

Icon Group Director of Research and Clinical Haematologist Dr John Bashford recently appeared live on the Icon Cancer Centre Facebook page, where he answered questions about COVID-19 and how cancer patients can keep safe during this time. Dr Bashford was joined by Icon Group Medical Director Dr Ian Irving.

Throughout the video, Dr Bashford answered a variety of questions from our patients, including:

  • 0.55 – What is Icon doing to protect patients from contracting COVID-19 in our centres?
  • 1.53 – Are the clinical and treatment chairs being spaced out to abide by the Government’s social distancing policy, and are patients being given masks?
  • 2.46 – I’m immunosuppressed and on cancer treatment, does that put me at increased risk of COVID-19?
  • 3.39 – What is my risk of COVID-19 if I finished chemotherapy in June last year, am 73 years of age and not leaving home unless absolutely necessary?
  • 5.00 – Is flu vaccination this year more important than ever? Who should get vaccinated?
  • 6.25 – With social distancing in mind, are there other things that cancer patients should be doing such as phone consultations or telehealth appointments with their doctor rather than attending the clinic?
  • 7.35 – Will patients be out of pocket if their doctor provides a phone consultation or telehealth appointment?
  • 8.18 – Some patients are on immunoglobulin replacement therapy, does this therapy help fight COVID-19?
  • 9.00 – Is there a vaccine available for COVID-19?
  • 10.09 – If someone is due for treatment and has a sore throat but no fever, a tickle of a cough but doesn’t feel too bad, should they be doing any differently when they come for their appointment? Is this a concern?
  • 12.33 – What about if you’re entirely well and in self isolation after returning from travel?
  • 14.02 – My doctor is considering postponing treatment until I have passed the 14 day isolation, will my treatment be less effective?
  • 14.52 – My husband is post stem cell transplant, now 3 and a half years. Does he need to self isolate?
  • 16.29 – If people need, can some cancer treatments be performed in the home?
  • 17.21 – If patients are coming into the clinic, how they should they get there? Can cancer patients still use public transport or should this be avoided?
  • 18.30 – I live in Western QLD and travel to Brisbane for chemotherapy for my breast cancer. I’ve been flying to get to Brisbane. Travelling by car would require a few stops on the way and more risk of fatigue. What is your recommendation on how I should travel for my treatment?
  • 21.27 – As a cancer patient, should I be avoiding gatherings of people?
  • 23.38 – Should patients wear a mask when attending the centre to protect themselves?
  • 24.20 – Are Icon staff wearing masks?
  • 25.22 – What will happen if an Icon centre has to close in the future due to COVID-19?
  • 28.41 – What about a patient who has been newly diagnosed with cancer, can people commence treatment at present?


For more information on COVID-19 and Icon’s commitment to your safety, click here.

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