New coronavirus protection information for cancer patients

Monday 18 May 2020

The RCR has teamed up with leading cancer care charities and professional bodies to release tailored coronavirus information for radiotherapy patients.

The advice leaflet, Protecting people with cancer from coronavirus when going for radiotherapy, has been jointly produced by the RCR, the Society and College of Radiographers, the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support

Cancer centres have continued to provide radiotherapy treatment throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, it is understandable that some patients may be worried about an increased risk of coronavirus infection when visiting a hospital site.  

The new advice has been created to reassure radiotherapy patients about what precautions are being taken by cancer centres to ensure both patients and hospital staff are as protected as possible. 

It stresses the importance of continuing to go for radiotherapy treatment and explains various new coronavirus safety precautions that hospitals may now be using.

These precautions include checking for coronavirus symptoms, changing access routes into departments and waiting area arrangements, as well as the use of personal protective equipment where appropriate. 

One of the authors of the advice was the RCR’s Medical Director of Professional Practice for Clinical Oncology, Dr Tom Roques. 

Dr Roques said:

“Cancer teams appreciate that undergoing treatment for cancer at any time is a stressful experience. It is understandable that people might have even bigger worries around visiting hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We want to reassure anyone visiting for radiotherapy that cancer treatment and support teams are doing everything we can to keep you safe from the virus. This will include assessing you before you arrive for treatment, keeping you isolated while you are in the radiotherapy department and possibly altering your treatment to include fewer visits.  

“We would like to urge patients to please, continue to come for treatment if advised by your oncologist to do so. Do not hesitate to talk to your cancer team if you have any concerns about the risks of attending your radiotherapy appointments.”