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03 March 2020

MEDIA ALERT

Tuesday, 3 March, 2020

PCFA Consumer Advisory – Coronavirus and Cancer

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has issued a consumer advisory on coronavirus and cancer for prostate cancer patients and survivors in order to help safeguard patients and the community against spread of the disease.

“Australians impacted by cancer are often at higher risk of infections, influenza, and viruses, and any infections are more likely to take hold at a greater speed,” said PCFA’s CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO.

“Having a personal infection prevention plan is essential.

“It’s imperative for people to follow five steps to minimise potential exposure and reduce their risks:

  1. Always wash your hands well with soap or alcohol-based handwashes, especially before and after being in contact with other people, before eating or touching your face, and whenever you touch high-contact objects, such as handrails.
  1. Be more careful about close contact with others and consider precautionary measures such as avoiding handshakes and kissing others on the cheek.
  1. Be more cautious at public events or large gatherings which could bring you into contact with people who may be carrying the virus.
  1. Ensure your workplace, extended family, and social networks are aware of your vulnerability to infection, and respectfully ask them to avoid contact or visits if they have any symptoms of potential illness, such as a high temperature, cough, sneezing, or headache, etc.
  1. Avoid contact with people who have been in countries or areas where the virus is in circulation.

“Cancer patients who develop signs of infection should contact their treatment team immediately or phone to seek the advice of their GP or health authority,” he said.

“Call in advance to request medical advice and urgent treatment if you experience signs of fever, chills, sinus pain, headache, shortness of breath, or any other suspicious symptoms.

“If you experience a medical event or notice new symptoms associated with your diagnosis, contact your treatment team or call ahead and go to your GP, taking care to minimise exposure to others, particularly those who may be presenting to hospital with symptoms.

“If you are undergoing outpatient treatment for cancer and face an immediate emergency you should try to call your Emergency Department before arrival, to ensure a quarantined treatment protocol and minimise your exposure to other patients.”

To download a copy of PCFA’s Consumer Advisory, click here.

If you have questions about prostate cancer and what to do in relation to Coronavirus and other infectious illnesses, please call PCFA on 1800 22 00 99, email enquiries@pcfa.org.au or go to www.pcfa.org.au.