Since March, hospitals around the world have been scrambling to adequately manage patient care. Entire units that were formerly reserved for treating a bevy of serious ailments have been transformed into makeshift Covid-19 triage areas. People who regularly went to hospitals for long-term care, including cancer patients, have needed to change their strategies and come up with alternative ways to manage their health.
As such, telemedicine went from being a fringe treatment option to a prominent and widely used method. Learn more about how telemedicine is helping cancer patients to cope, get better, and continue life-saving treatment during the Covid-19 crisis.
Reducing Cancer Patients’ Exposure to Germs and Illnesses
During treatment, cancer patients often have to deal with heavily compromised immune systems. Chemotherapy, though an effective cancer treatment, virtually destroys patients’ immune systems in order to eradicate cancer cells. With hospitals now being a breeding ground for coronavirus, cancer patients and other immunocompromised persons have been instructed by their doctors to avoid hospitals when at all possible. What telemedicine does is give cancer patients the option to consult with medical experts when a concerning situation arises. It prevents them from having to wait weeks to see a doctor in person, and it helps to reduce their exposure to germs, viruses, and other pathogens that could be present in a hospital setting.
Preventing Unnecessary Travel Where Possible
At present, even domestic travel is not advised for cancer patients. Just going to the grocery store makes for a potentially risky situation. People undergoing chemotherapy or recovering from cancer removal therapy, in particular, simply should not travel unless necessary. While staying in close contact and communication with their doctors is advised, physically traveling to the office is no longer necessary, thanks to telemedicine. Cancer patients can work with a patient advocate to set up the technology needed to participate in telemedicine appointment sessions with their doctors. Simply put, telemedicine is making it so that less travel is necessary for cancer survivors during this global pandemic.
Telemedicine Offers Excellent Ease of Appointment Scheduling
Normally, cancer patients need to coordinate not only their calendars but also transportation, in order to get in to see a doctor. When last-minute scheduling changes are made, they are left to figure things out at the last minute, which is a stressful prospect to say the least. People fighting cancer need to preserve their strength as well as protect their mental health. Telemedicine is helping countless cancer patients curing the Covid-19 crisis by making patient scheduling simpler. As long as their internet and phone line works, it is possible to meet with a doctor to discuss health concerns and goals.
Undergoing cancer treatment can leave you feeling drained, and it has a marked impact on your physical health too. One of the bright spots for many cancer patients is being able to talk to their doctors frequently and learn of their progress. Telemedicine is helping to take the anxiety out of those meetings, as they can now be done virtually, and from within a home setting.