Updated Monday 13 September
As restrictions ease, it is understandable that this might be a worrying and uncertain time for people living with cancer or who are having cancer treatment. Particularly as the number of cases of coronavirus is still rising.
Changes in restrictions are different depending on where you live in the UK. Visit government websites for coronavirus guidance in:
You may be feeling worried, unsure or confused about what it is safe for you to do in your situation. For the last year and a half there have been rules and guidelines about what we can and can’t do. It can feel daunting to face uncertainty and to have to make judgements about what’s best for ourselves or others. This is particularly true for people who are living with cancer or who are having cancer treatment.
No matter where you live in the UK and what your local guidelines are, there are some things Macmillan’s cancer specialists are suggesting that can help keep you safe:
- Have both doses of the vaccine when they are offered to you. Cancer specialists have agreed that people living with cancer should receive the vaccine. Although it is possible that the vaccines may be slightly less effective for people having some cancer treatments, it is still expected that the vaccine will give useful protection against the virus.
- Continue to take covid precautions that feel right for you, for example:
- meet people outside when possible
- wear a mask in public places or when meeting indoors with people you don’t live with
- avoid crowds
- continue with good hand washing/hand sanitising
- keep rooms well ventilated if you have guests at home.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who have not been vaccinated.
- If you live with children or anyone else who has not been vaccinated, you can ask them to continue to take extra care.
- You and your household can carry out regular self-testing for covid with lateral flow tests.
- If anyone has symptoms of covid they should book an NHS test straight away. You can read more about arranging a test in:
- You can find out the covid rates in different areas by- using this BBC postcode checker. This may help you make decisions about keeping safe and help you know when you feel comfortable making changes.
Having to cope with uncertainty is always difficult. This can be even harder as we move into a new phase of restrictions easing. You may have a mix of emotions. Some people feel relief that things are moving back to ‘normal’. Others are worried that the changes are happenings too fast and may feel that some restrictions should remain while cases of the virus are increasing. Some may feel angry that they no longer feel protected from other people.
It can help to talk through your worries with those close to you and your healthcare team. Our support line specialist are available 7 days a week, 8am-8pm on 0808 808 00 00. See below for other ways Macmillan can help.
If you are worried about how you will stay safe when restrictions are lifted, you are not alone. Macmillan Cancer Support are doing the best we can to support people.
- access our Cancer Information and Support section on the website to get up to date information about living with cancer and getting support
- visit our support services, delivered over the phone or online
- sign up to our Telephone Buddies service for someone to talk to
If something is worrying you and you need to talk, we're here to listen. From questions about coronavirus, to cancer treatment, to financial advice, we're here for you.
Find out more about the coronavirus support available and the Macmillan teams that are here to help you.
We know that this will be an anxious time for people with cancer, and taking steps to protect yourself is only part of the solution. At Macmillan, we are here to do whatever it takes to stand with you.
We are urging our staff, volunteers and the public to keep wearing masks and observe social distancing to protect others in their community.
We are also supporting the NHS Confederation’s #NotTooMuchToMask campaign.