How can I protect myself from infection?


“As with the flu and other acute respiratory illnesses, the most important protective measures are compliance with hygiene rules and keeping your distance from other people:

  • Regular and thorough hand washing.
  • Cough and sneeze into a disposable handkerchief that is immediately disposed of in the bin with a lid after use, or in the crook of your elbow.
  • If necessary, use a mouth and nose protection to protect other people from infection.
  • Keep a distance of at least 1.5 m from all people who do not live in the same household.

Further information on the correct hygiene measures can be found on the website of the Federal Center for Health Education, BZgA. “


My cancer treatment is to be postponed, how can that be?


“In any cancer treatment, the benefits of the treatment must be weighed against the possible harm (side effects). This also includes the risk of a possible infection with the coronavirus.

The decision as to whether cancer therapy can be started in this situation, or whether it should be delayed or postponed, is based in particular on the individual disease situation of the person affected. For example, in the case of a chronic disease stage or a low risk of recurrence, postponing treatment can be considered without unnecessarily endangering the person affected.

The German Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology, DGHO, states that, for example, treatment measures can be postponed for patients with chronic and well-controlled cancer.

In contrast, for most patients who are acutely ill with cancer, the benefit of sensible and planned cancer treatment is greater than the risk of possible infection with the coronavirus.

An overview of the decision-making criteria for cancer therapies in connection with COVID-19 can be found in the text Coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in patients with blood and cancer diseases of the guideline portal oncopedia of the DGHO. “



Does it make sense to be vaccinated against pneumococci as a cancer patient?

“The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) of the Robert Koch Institute issues recommendations for vaccination against pneumococcal infections. The institute generally recommends vaccination in patients with a congenital or acquired immunodeficiency or immunosuppression, for example through chemotherapy. Exactly which diseases this affects can be found in the current STIKO recommendations (see 322 f.). Please contact the doctor treating you to clarify the question of pneumococcal vaccination in your personal case and to receive current information on the availability of the vaccine. “


As a cancer patient, am I particularly at risk from the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)?

“According to the German Society for Hematology and Oncology (DGHO) , the risk of cancer patients suffering from pneumonia from an infection with respiratory viruses is significantly higher than for healthy people. This probably also applies to infections caused by SARS-CoV-2.
According to previous knowledge, people with a suppressed immune system, for example due to a disease that is associated with an immune deficiency, are particularly at risk. There is also an increased risk from taking drugs that suppress the immune system. Various underlying diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the respiratory system, liver and kidney seem to increase the risk of a serious course of the disease regardless of age. Many cancer patients also have one or more of the general risk factors for a severe course of COVID-19.

General risk factors:

  • Age> 65 years
  • Care facilities

Specific diseases, especially with pronounced symptoms:

  • Chronic lung disease, or moderate or severe bronchial asthma
  • Severe heart disease
  • Immunosuppression, incl.
  • Adiposity (BMI >40)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Chronic renal failure on dialysis
  • Liver disease

Further information and assistance for people with an increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease can be found via this link . “



Do I lose my right to rehabilitation if I cannot take it due to the corona pandemic?

“In view of the special circumstances in connection with the coronavirus, there is currently no obligation to start an oncological rehabilitation service immediately. Applications for postponing rehabilitation measures that have already been approved can be submitted to the relevant pension insurance agency. The start of rehabilitation can currently be postponed for up to nine months as a result of the corona pandemic.

If the rehabilitation facility is terminated by the facility itself or at the request of the person being rehabilitated, it is possible to continue rehabilitation at a later point in time, to repeat it or to apply for a new one (so-called substitute rehabilitation).

For the application for a new medical rehabilitation benefit, the German Pension Insurance has developed a short application (form G0101) for nationwide use, which is available to the rehabilitation clinics. If follow-up treatment (AHB) has been canceled by the facility or by the person concerned out of fear of infection, it is possible to start the AHB at a later point in time with regard to the current corona situation. The phase between the end of treatment and the start of the AHB should, however, be within a reasonable time frame. A guideline is currently six weeks, although it may be slightly exceeded by up to two weeks. TheGerman pension insurance . “


As a cancer patient, how can I receive psychological support during the restrictions due to the corona pandemic?

“Many cancer patients and mentally ill people are dependent on psychotherapeutic care even during the corona pandemic. Therefore: As long as neither the patient nor the psychotherapist have symptoms for respiratory diseases, psychotherapy is also possible with personal contact.

The prerequisites for this are:

  • that sufficient distance is maintained,
  • refrained from shaking hands,
  • and cough and sneeze etiquette are observed.

To avoid the risk of infection, psychotherapeutic treatment can also be continued online via video phone since April 1st. According to the consumer advice center, this new regulation applies provisionally for the 2nd quarter of 2020.

Most psychosocial cancer counseling centers currently offer cancer patients and their relatives, instead of personal contact, advice by telephone or in writing by email. “


What should you watch out for when handling masks?

“First of all, a distinction must be made between respirators on the one hand and mouth and nose covers , makeshift masks, self-made face masks, etc. on the other. You can find the difference at the Federal Center for Health Education .

Mouth and nose covers, community masks, makeshift masks, etc. can mainly help to reduce the release of droplets. Due to the lower virus concentration achieved in the ambient air of a eliminator, the infection routes are interrupted. In addition, they protect against smear infections by reducing contact with the mouth and nose (mucous membranes).

Mouth and nose covers therefore mainly act as external protection . Therefore, the wearing of face protection by people who enter public areas in which the safety distance cannot be maintained and no other measures are possible, e.g. B. local public transport, grocery stores or at work, help to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Due to the material used, mouth-nose covers do not protect like particle-filtering protective masks. Therefore, these are only suitable for private use . Make sure that these are washable and boil-proof . “



The information provided by this means cannot, in any way, replace a direct health care service, nor should it be used for the purpose of establishing a diagnosis, or choosing a treatment in particular cases.
In this service no recommendation will be made, explicitly or implicitly, about drugs, techniques, products, etc … that will be cited for informational purposes only.
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