18 May. 2020
Sidik stated that COVID-19 pandemic is a new challenge for cancer patients. They are among the groups affected by COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia and also worldwide.
She stated that "physical and mental health of cancer patient is affected by COVID-19, because their treatment sessions had to be rescheduled to reduce congestion in hospital wards as precautionary measure for prevention."
According to Sidik "based on a survey among cancer patients by the Cancer and Resource Education Center (CaRE), some patients who were undergoing treatment during the Movement Control Order (MCO) were affected by the situation of COVID-19 outbreak."
"The MCO was implemented as a preventive measure to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19."
She stated that patients with certain conditions could financially afford to continue their cancer treatment in private hospitals.
Also, according to her, there were patients undergoing chemotherapy who needed to change the method of treatment from intravenous administration in the hospital to oral treatment at home.
Sidik announced that "the MCO did cause some difficulties to obtain treatment in hospitals especially for patients who needed to travel from a different state to another for treatment." This was because interstate travel was controlled under the MCO.
In addition, patients encountered fear and anxiety in facing COVID-19. There were cancer patients who avoided getting treatment in the hospital because they were worried about the risk of COVID-19 infection.
So in order to help cancer patients to face COVID-19, the ministry of health in Malaysia continued to provide the best care possible for all patients, including cancer patients during the pandemic.
There were also online counseling sessions so that patients could contact their healthcare providers.
Cancer patients were advised to adhere to all the COVID-19 protective hygiene guidelines such as practicing social distancing, regular hand washing, staying at home except for treatment in the hospital, always wearing face mask in public areas, and avoid going to public places.
Cancer patients were also advised to obtain information about the treatment and management of cancer from the credible sources, and wisely manage their emotions, to remain calm and not to panic. Since uncontrolled stress can increase the risk of depression.
In addition, CaRE which is an institution that provides educational and support services for cancer patients, their family members, NGOs, and cancer volunteers, uploads and updates many books online on cancer and its management at the time of Coronavirus pandemic.
News Source: MSTF Media