A Message to Our Cancer Patients and Their Families About Coronavirus COVID-19

The top priority of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute is the health and safety of our patients and their families. If you have a scheduled appointment, please plan to keep this appointment unless you are experiencing symptoms like fever, cough, congestion, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches and pains or shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your doctor before coming into the clinic.

Our team of experts is here for you. We’ll see you and make a plan of care either virtually or in-person.

OncoSTAT: (313) 916-9840
If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy and experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19, contact your doctor or our OncoSTAT clinic.
  • OncoSTAT offers same-day care
  • Our specialists evaluate your symptoms and determine next steps, which may include a video visit or in-person appointment

The below FAQs about COVID-19 will help you find answers to questions you may have regarding cancer and COVID-19 virus.

Are those with cancer at a higher risk for getting COVID-19?

If you have cancer, you are at a higher risk for a serious illness like COVID-19, especially if you are in active chemotherapy treatment or have recently had a bone marrow transplant. These treatments weaken the immune system, which puts you at a higher risk of serious illness. Usually this risk is temporary.

Post-treatment cancer survivors who have completed treatment more than 2 years ago have immune systems that most likely recovered, but each person is different. It's important that all cancer patients and survivors, whether currently in treatment or not, talk with a doctor who understands the situation and medical history.

Should I still come in for my scheduled cancer treatments and appointments?

If you are scheduled for cancer treatments during this coronavirus outbreak, you should have a discussion with your oncologist about the benefits and risks of continuing or delaying treatment.

If you have a scheduled appointment, please plan to keep this appointment unless you are experiencing symptoms like fever, cough, congestion, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches and pains or shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your doctor before coming into the clinic.

Supportive cancer treatment appointments, such as our survivorship clinic, dietitian consults, and psych-oncology visits, have temporarily been moved to telemedicine and phone visits. Contact your provider if you have questions.

Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?

Temporary visitor restrictions are in place across all Henry Ford facilities. If you can come to your appointment by yourself, that is encouraged. However, you are allowed one visitor to accompany you at your appointment. Contact your oncology clinic for specific directions regarding guests.

Should I wear a mask to my cancer treatment appointment or out in public if I do not have any symptoms?

Your care team will provide you with a mask when you arrive for your appointment. You can continue to reuse this mask and bring it to your future appointments if you are able to keep it clean, dry, and with no rips or tears. We recommend masks be stored in a paper bag when not in use, so they can breathe and dry out.

What is Henry Ford Health System doing to protect patients and the community?

Get Cancer Support During COVID-19

Henry Ford Cancer Institute Psychologist Dr. Michael Ryan talks about ways to cope with strong emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what virtual support options are currently available for cancer patients.

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Our cancer team is here for you in-person, by phone and virtually for all your cancer care needs.

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What can I do to help protect myself from the virus?

You should protect yourself by using these health hygiene practices that are recommended by the CDC to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve – not your hands. Throw away the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Minimize close contact exposure to other people
  • Avoid large, in-person social gatherings—connect with friends and family virtually through video chat or phone calls
  • Buy any necessary medications, both prescription and over the counter, to last for up to a month

My appointment has been changed to a MyChart video visit — what does that mean?

A MyChart Video Visit is a scheduled visit with your doctor through the MyChart app on your mobile phone or tablet. This offers an opportunity to receive the same high-quality healthcare expertise from your doctor, with the added convenience of not having to travel to the doctor’s office. Follow this step-by-step guide for completing a video visit.

Note: You must have a MyChart account to use video visits. If you need assistance or have questions about MyChart or video visits, see our FAQs on MyChart or call (800) 436-7936.

Get up-to-date information about COVID-19 and learn more.

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If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • In the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell
  • If you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days:
    • fever
    • chills
    • drenching sweats
    • new cough
    • shortness of breath
    • body aches
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

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