Published: 13.09.2020

Cancer and Coronavirus – FAQ

Categories: Articles
The coronavirus is a concern among cancer patients. We listed the most common concerns and the answers to them.

I am interested in coming to Docrates. Do you take new patients at the moment?

Yes, we are open normally and do accept new patients. We have not had any coronavirus infections in our hospital.

Despite of the possible travel restrictions, it is allowed to come to Finland and Docrates for cancer treatment. 

Overall, the Coronavirus situation is currently well under control in Finland. For more information on possible country-specific restrictions, please contact our Booking at +358 10 773 2010.

At Docrates Cancer Center we can also arrange for a remote consultation via telephone or video. Read more or get in touch with our care team or Booking at +358 10 773 2010.

I am a patient at Docrates. Do I continue with my treatment plan or do I need to cancel my treatments?

It is important to continue your treatments as planned, unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.  Various infections are always a risk to cancer patients, and your doctor is prepared to treat you accordingly.

Always wear a face mask in public transport and in other situations where avoiding close contact is not possible.

An appointment with our oncologist can be arranged also via telephone or video, if preferred. If you wish to book a remote consultation, please be in contact with our Booking at +358 10 773 2010.

If you are a patient at Docrates and you have concerns related to coronavirus, you can discuss this with your doctor. It is important to continue diagnostics and treatments as planned. For more information please be in touch with our Booking at +358 10 773 2010.

Can I travel to Docrates for treatments?

It is important to ensure your treatments continue while also ensuring your safety from infections.  Please see also: ‘How to safeguard myself and my family members from the virus infection?’

What do I need to know before my first appointment?

We have taken several precautions against the spread of the virus infection. If you have flu-like symptoms, please be in touch with your care team via email or telephone before coming to the hospital. Before your appointment we will ask you several questions in order to estimate your risk of having caught the virus. If necessary, you can be accompanied by one person max. inside the hospital.

Negative result from Covid-19 virus test

All our international patients must have a document of negative result from Covid-19 virus test no older than 4 days (test taken max. 3 days earlier) when entering the hospital. If you are not able to take Covid-19 virus test in your home country, we can arrange test for you with our partner in Helsinki. In that case you should enter to Finland 1-2 days prior to entering the Hospital. Also, if you have a close one coming to the hospital with you, we also need a negative virus test result from her/him. Please ask more from our booking team.

Countries that has travel restrictions with Finland, read more here: https://www.raja.fi/current_issues/guidelines_for_border_traffic

Why is it dangerous for a cancer patient to get infected with coronavirus?

Cancer patients often have a weakened immune system. This increases the risk of getting sick from any infections. Seasonal flu, stomach flu as well as the novel coronavirus can be more serious in people with weakened immune system. It is important that these patients as well as their family members follow instructions carefully to avoid getting a serious infection.

How can I protect myself or my family members from a virus infection?

  • Maintain social distancing and stay at least 2 meters away from people when you have to leave home.
  • Stay especially far away from anyone with a cough, sneeze or fever.
  • Regular and thorough washing of hands with soap and water as well as desinfectant is important, especially
    • you are in touch with other people
    • before eating
    • before touching your face
    • after using the WC
    • when you arrive home

Anyone in touch with a cancer patient must ensure good hygiene:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you are sneezing or coughing. Use a napkin or your sleeve.
  • Dispose of used napkins into a closed trash can immediately and wash your hands with soap and water, use disinfectant.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces you have touched.
  • Be very careful when using public transport or in a location with many people nearby.
  • Make sure any visitors you might have understand the risks of infecting a cancer patient. If your visitor has any symptoms such as fever, cough, sneezing, headache etc, please refrain from meeting with them.
  • Avoid all travel and limit contact with people who have been abroad in the last 14 days.

All kinds of infections are easily transmitted from one person to another in a home environment. It is important to take all precautions necessary to protect cancer patients from these infections. Beside cancer patients, this includes also

  • Anyone over 70.
  • Anyone with medical conditions such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure.
  • Anyone recently treated for cancer.

I am a cancer patient, can I go outside or meet my friends at home?

At the moment it is recommended that everyone, whether you are at high risk or not, stays at home as much as possible in order to decrease the risk of getting infected. It is a good idea for a cancer patient to avoid meeting anyone. If you have to go outside, follow the instructions to protect yourself.

If you have flu-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, coughing, sneezing or fever, do stay at home and if necessary be in touch with your care team.

If you have an appointment at Docrates, please call ahead and tell us about your symptoms. We will instruct you further.

Do ask anyone visiting you to make sure they wash their hands regularly and avoid contacts with other people. If your visitors have flu-like symptoms, do not meet with them.

I am undergoing drug therapy / immuno-oncological treatments. Can I continue?

According to what we know now, there is no reason to delay drug or immuno-oncological treatments. Any decisions on the continuance of these treatments must be individually evaluated.

What happens with my treatments if I have flu-like symptoms and suspicions of a corona virus infection?

The treatment plan for every patient is drawn up individually, in a multidisciplinary team if needed. The goal is to follow the treatment plan. Getting infected may lead to delaying the start of your treatment. The situation must always be individually evaluated taking into consideration the cancer type, the treatments planned as well as the patient’s situation. You should never hide any symptoms.

If you have travelled within the last 14 days and have flu-like symptoms and have a treatment plan at Docrates, your treating oncologist will evaluate the situation and make a plan for the next steps.

Negative result from Covid-19 virus test

All our international patients must have a document of negative result from Covid-19 virus test no older than 4 days (test taken max. 4 days earlier) when entering the hospital. If you are not able to take Covid-19 virus test in your home country, we can arrange test for you with our partner in Helsinki. In that case you should enter to Finland 1-2 days prior to entering the Hospital. Also, if you have a close one coming to the hospital with you, we also need a negative virus test result from her/him. Please ask more from our booking team.

Countries that has travel restrictions with Finland, read more here: https://www.raja.fi/current_issues/guidelines_for_border_traffic

How does Docrates make sure the patients are not infected?

Our staff members have been trained to screen and control infectious diseases. We have not had any coronavirus infections in our hospital.

In order to protect our patients and to offer the best possible treatment also during the corona pandemic, we have adapted our safety practices.

We will screen every patient and anyone travelling with them in order to detect possible infections before coming to the hospital. In practice, this means we will ask you several questions when making an appointment. We will repeat these questions when you arrive at the hospital.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have ensured proper hygiene by cleaning the facilities.

As a precaution we have also updated our policy regarding family members in appointments; for now we do not allow family members to attend unless absolutely necessary. Our staff will evaluate the need for a maximum of one family member. Any family members travelling with you can wait outside the hospital (indoors).

You might also be asked to wear a mask while at the hospital. Also our staff members will wear masks while treating you.

Can I bring a family member or friend with me to Docrates?

As a precaution we have also updated our policy regarding family members in the appointments; for now we do not allow family members to attend unless absolutely necessary. Our staff will evaluate the need for a maximum of one family member. Any family members travelling with you can wait outside the hospital (indoors). Note: As of June 23rd, patients can bring one family member or friend to the hospital. 

We will screen every patient and anyone travelling with them in order to detect possible infections before coming to the hospital. In practice, this means we will ask you several questions when making an appointment. We will repeat these questions when you arrive IN the hospital.

All visitors will be asked the following questions:

  • Have you or any of your family members travelled in the last 14 days?
  • Do you have any flu-like symptoms?
  • Have you been in close contact with a person infected by the coronavirus?

How do I know when to be in touch with my care team?

If you have any flu-like symptoms, please let your care team know.

My treatments are over, am I still at high risk?

Your immunity is weakened for some time after the treatments have ended. This depends on the treatments given. If you wish to know more, please be in touch with your care team.

Read the stories of our cancer patients

Published: 29.09.2020

The story of a Swedish breast cancer patient: “I didn’t want to wait any longer.”

Merja Kailokari, who lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with her family, was first diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 43...

Read more
Published: 31.08.2020

Jaana, breast cancer survivor: At Docrates, it’s the quality of life that matters, not the statistics

We are meeting with Jaana Nurmi on a couch in Kaffila, a volunteer-run cafe in the community house Bokvillan on...

Read more
Published: 27.04.2020

Advanced prostate cancer – Neil Britten’s (UK) experience

Neil Britten, 63, from Buckinghamshire, near London, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in early 2016. “My PSA then was 16...

Read more
Published: 27.04.2020

Lennart’s story, advanced prostate cancer – 59 days from diagnosis to recovery

How I got my life back thanks to efficient and fast cancer treatments. Personal experience by Lennart Andersson (59) Lidköping,...

Read more

Why come to Docrates Cancer Center?

  • Top cancer experts and effective treatments without delay even during epidemic.
  • Individual care. You have your own care team - your doctor and your nurse.
  • Front line cancer treatment. Latest medical technology combined with proven expertise in cancer care.
  • Experience in treating international patients from over 60 countries. Multilingual personnel.
358 10 773 2010

Contact us!

Mon-Thu 8 am-6 pm, Fri 8 am-4 pm (GMT +2)