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7 Tips to Protect Prostate Cancer Patients during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid And Mental Health With Prostate Cancer

The coronavirus infection is particularly dangerous for older people, especially men. A weakened

 immune system can lead to more severe complications, as it happens to those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. To reduce the chances of getting infected, there are special measures that can be taken.

Before we move on to those measures, it is important to remember that protection is even more essential for those who are undergoing chemotherapy or taking medication affecting the immune system. Talk to your doctor about your treatment and how it will be handled during this period.

  1. Isolation & Social Distancing
    The medical team will decide whether the prostate cancer treatment can be delayed or if the trips to the hospital can at least be reduced. Staying at home, or shielding as it is also known, remains one of the best methods of protection against this virus.

    The doctor might also encourage social distancing, recommending you to avoid the contact with other people. This includes family and friends, and especially children, who are often asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus.
  2. Online Counseling
    Many patients who suffer from prostate cancer benefit from counseling. No matter if you practice self-isolation or social distancing, trying to stay away from other people, you might benefit from online counseling.

    A therapist can help you discover coping skills for a difficult period. Remember that everyone is worried and it is completely normal to feel anxious or depressed, especially if you are also dealing with the prostate cancer. Therapy will help you maintain an optimistic perspective.
  3. Avoid Unnecessary Outings
    Once again, the simplest way to protect yourself is to avoid going out, especially in crowded areas. The solution is to call your family or friends, and ask them to run your errands for you.

    You might also ask your neighbors to shop for you, or pick up your prescription from the pharmacy. There are plenty of young people who are more than happy to help you out, so do not hesitate to ask.
  4. Stay in Touch with Family and Friends
    No matter if you are at home or in the hospital, you should take advantage of modern technology and stay in touch with family and friends. You can make a video call and see everyone you love, feeling better in an instant.

    While it is not the same as seeing them in person, it will still give you a hope. We all do our best to make it through this period.
  5. Special Designated Hours for Checkups
    Prostate cancer patients often have to go to their GP for a checkup. In order to avoid the practice getting crowded and the risk of infection reaching higher limits, you might want to talk to your doctor about coming in earlier in the day (or later, if possible).

    This is especially important, because such infections are easily transmitted in indoor spaces, where there are several people close to one another. You might also want to inquire if home visits are possible, depending on the treatment you are following.
  6. Blood Tests at Home 
    Frequent blood tests are sometimes required for prostate cancer patients in order to determine prostate-specific antigens. However, going to the doctor for such a test can increase the risk of getting coronavirus, so you need to find an alternative.

    Once again, you can speak to your doctor, and inquire whether a nurse would be able to come to your home and draw blood. The results can be then communicated on the phone, with the GP deciding on the course of treatment accordingly.
  7. Adequate Protection Solutions
    If you have to go out, including to the hospital for treatment, you have to wear adequate protection. According to the World Health Organization, elderly people are to self-isolate or maintain social distancing. However, in case of outings, one should wear a protection mask.

    You can speak to your doctor about the protection measures you can take. A simple way to protect yourself is to wash your hands thoroughly, using warm water and soap. When going out, avoid touching your face with your hands, as you might have the virus on your hands.

    We are living in a period like no other, with the coronavirus pandemic redefining our existence. For someone with prostate cancer being resilient is important – you cannot control how the pandemic will evolve, but you do have the power to remain clearheaded and do your best to protect yourself from a potentially-severe infection.


Emily Hemling
Emily Helming

Emily Hemling is an editorial editor at Everyday Health.