COVID-19 cancer patients and carers

Cancer patients and their carers

We’ve created a leaflet for cancer patients and their carers to help them understand what COVID-19 might mean for their health and their treatment.

Download the full leaflet for answers to questions about:

Download leaflet or read on for a quick overview

What is COVID-19 and how might it affect someone with cancer?

COVID-19 is the illness caused by the new coronavirus first identified in China. It can cause a cough and/or a high temperature.

If you have cancer, the COVID-19 outbreak might impact on you in a number of ways.  Generally, COVID-19 can cause worse symptoms in people whose immune systems do not work well, older people and people with long term conditions like cancer.

What might that mean for my cancer treatment? 

Your cancer treatment might change. This is to keep you safe, because the COVID-19 infection presents a new risk. Your medical team will discuss any changes with you.

Some safer options might be delaying treatment or reducing the intensity of treatment.

What should I do if I become unwell and are worried about symptoms?

If you are on treatment for cancer or have received treatment in the past 6 weeks, it is very important to phone for advice if you become unwell. 

Any cancer patient worried about symptoms should call their existing cancer treatment helpline or the national Cancer Treatment Helpline on 0800 917 7711.


Other ways to get information: 

  • For general information about COVID-19 call 0800 028 2816 

  • Cancer Research UK call 0808 800 4040 (Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm) 

  • Macmillan Cancer Support call 0808 808 00 00 (every day, 9am - 5pm) 

  • The NHS Inform Scotland website has up-to-date information and answers to frequently asked questions.

The Scottish Cancer Coalition, a group of charities who support those with cancer, are providing a range of support services from mental wellbeing to financial and welfare advice. You can find a full list of their services in the leaflet.

Download leaflet.

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