Penny Brohn UK

Help change life with cancer. For good

Myth-busting coronavirus with Dr. Catherine Zollman

There is understandably a lot of anxiety in the cancer community around coronavirus. This anxiety is in some ways very justified but can also be as contagious as the virus itself.

Here Dr. Catherine Zollman, Medical Director at Penny Brohn UK and NHS GP, tackles some of the myths around coronavirus to help you better manage your anxiety at this challenging time.

Some of the myths she challenges in this video are:

  1. COVID-19 is a serious illness and likely to kill anyone in a vulnerable group, including everyone with a history of cancer.
  2. The immune system of everyone with cancer is weak and therefore they are more vulnerable to the virus.
  3. There is nothing we can do to support our immune systems and improve our resilience to the virus.
  4. Shielding recommendations are completely inflexible.

Don’t let fear of catching coronavirus mean that your cancer gets missed while it’s curable!

Many types of cancer are straightforward to treat and cure if you catch them early, but since the beginning of the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been a big drop in the number of people who are going to their GP with signs of early cancer. If you are tempted to stay at home and wait until the Covid crisis is over to get your symptoms checked out, please think again, and make an appointment to talk to a GP about any worrying concerns, such as any persistent unexplained bruising, weight loss or fevers, lumps, moles which are changing, difficulty swallowing your food, persistent cough, post-menopausal bleeding, change in your bowels, or blood in your poo or pee. There is a real risk that, if left unchecked, any cancer present could grow and spread, making it much more difficult to treat successfully. GPs can arrange many of the tests you might need over the phone, and if they do need to see you in person, most have strict infection control procedures designed for your safety, which minimise the chances of anyone who attends the surgery catching Covid-19. Ask about what your local practice's procedures are.

Don’t let Covid-19 reduce your chances of living well – help catch cancer early by making an appointment with your GP if you have any worrying symptoms.

If you need further support, contact us on 0303 3000 118 or email You can also visit our remote services page to register for our online support groups and sessions.

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