Cancer patients about COVID-19

It is important for cancer patients and their families to know how to stay protected from COVID-19.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please refer to Government of Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19 Immunization Plan.

Are appointments at the Cancer Care Centre continuing?

Clinic appointments will happen virtually – your health-care provider will call you at home. Please answer telephone calls from private numbers as many Eastern Health phone numbers appear as unknown. If your health-care provider requires to see you in person, you will be notified.

Should I still go to my chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatment?

Chemotherapy and radiation treatments will continue.

If you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms such as cough, or shortness of breath or are under a public health requirement to self-isolate, please call the Cancer Care Centre to determine whether you should reschedule your appointment.

Contact Information:

    • H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre, St. John’s: 709-777-6480 (press 1)
    • Cancer Care Centre, Gander: 709-256-5545
    • Cancer Care Centre, Grand Falls: Windsor 709-292-2112
    • Cancer Care Centre, Corner Brook: 709-784-5476

Telephone lines are monitored Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Can I bring a support person to my appointments?

On Alert Level 2, one essential visitor/support person is permitted for cancer care patients who have a clinic appointment with their health-care provider. For radiation, chemotherapy, or bloodwork treatment visits, we continue to ask that patients come alone unless they meet criteria set by the provincial guidelines. 

One identified essential support person may be present for patients:

  • who have specific challenges resulting in compromised comprehension, decision making or mobility due to disability or onset of a medical condition.

The support person will be screened prior to entering the facility, this person must pass the screening, must wear a mask and follow COVID-19 guidelines while in the building.

As a cancer patient, am I more likely to get sick from COVID-19?

It is possible that cancer patients are at a higher risk of more severe symptoms because of their lowered immune system due to medications and treatment.

How can I avoid getting sick with COVID-19?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the absence of soap and water.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing and sneezing and dispose of used tissues in the trash.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch areas such as toilets, bedside tables and door handles with diluted bleach or a regular household cleaner.
  • Practice social distancing – stay 2 metres or 6 feet away from other people.
  • It is recommended that individuals over the age of 60 and those with underlying medical conditions (cancer), who are at increased risk for severe illness, avoid going out in public as much as possible.

Should I wear a mask?

Patients will be asked to wear a mask when in the Cancer Care Centre. Staff who work with patients will also wear a mask and face shield.

What should I expect when I come to my appointment?

We are asking all patients questions related to COVID-19 when they enter the Cancer Care Centre.

What should I do if I can’t go to my pharmacy to get my prescriptions?

If you are unwell and cannot get to a pharmacy to obtain your cancer medications, please contact the Cancer Care Centre pharmacy team or your oncologist and we will find options to help you get you your medications.

Cancer Care Pharmacy Team: 709-777-6480 (press 5, then press 1).

What should I do if I am unwell or have questions?

If you are experiencing symptoms of a medical emergency, please call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency department.

If you have questions regarding your cancer therapy, concerns surrounding COVID-19 or symptoms you are experiencing and whether you should go to an Emergency Room, you may call the Cancer Care Centre triage line to review your symptoms with a registered nurse:

Dr. H Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre709-777-6480 (press 2, then 1)

Telephone lines are monitored Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

My oncologist has advised me to go to the Emergency Room if I have a fever while I am on chemotherapy or other systemic therapy, what should I do?

If your oncologist has advised you to go to the Emergency Room with fever, continue to do so.

Where can I get more information?

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Last updated: 2021-09-15