Is Ackerman Cancer Center still open?
Yes. Ackerman Cancer Center Jacksonville and Amelia Island are both open and treating new and existing patients. In response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the Northeast Florida area, Ackerman Cancer Center is taking preventative measures to protect the health of our patients, employees, and visitors.
What are you doing to keep patients safe?
Ackerman Cancer Center will comply with the most up-to-date policies and recommendations from the Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they are updated. We are going above and beyond by including a daily screening of anyone entering our offices, implementing extra cleaning and sanitation measures, and only allowing one well visitor per patient at this time.
Should I postpone my treatment or follow-up appointments?
In general, it is not necessary for existing patients to interrupt their proton therapy treatment. Ackerman Cancer Center is taking preventative measures that allow us to continue providing treatment while protecting the health of our patients, employees, and visitors.
Additionally, Ackerman Cancer Center is following the guidance of the CDC and encouraging follow-up care for nonurgent visits through telehealth. We will determine with you over the phone if your follow-up visit should be delayed or conducted through telehealth. The decision to delay your treatment should be discussed with your radiation oncologist.
What if I start showing symptoms of COVID-19 during my treatment?
COVID-19 symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and excessive runny nose. These symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure to the virus. If you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, please call the office and speak to a nurse.
What if I test positive for COVID-19 during my treatment?
In the case of an existing patient testing positive, it will be necessary for Ackerman Cancer Center to comply with the requirements of the Florida Department of Health and CDC. We are strong advocates for timely cancer treatment, and we will make all necessary and appropriate accommodations within our ability to do so.
Are you still taking new patients?
Yes. We understand the urgency many cancer patients face. The preventative measures that Ackerman Cancer Center has implemented to protect the health of our patients, employees, and visitors allow us to continue scheduling consultations and providing treatment to any patient.
Should I be especially worried about getting COVID-19 if I have cancer?
Depending on their cancer, patients could be considered “immunocompromised,” meaning they are generally more susceptible to illness. However, because this is not unique to COVID-19, there is no need to panic. Cancer patients should be sure to follow CDC preventative guidance, such as regular handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, social distancing (six feet recommendation), and limitation of discretionary travel, especially to areas that have community spread or high case counts of the virus.
What do caregivers of cancer patients need to know about COVID-19?
The CDC recommends that family members and caregivers should know which medications their loved ones are taking and try to have some extra on hand, if possible. It’s also important to keep an eye on food and medical supplies, stocking up on nonperishable items to avoid excess trips outside the home. Caregivers should also be diligent about following the CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
What if a family member shows symptoms of COVID-19?
The CDC has a comprehensive list of recommendations should a household member or caregiver become sick. This includes staying in a separate room, as well as using a separate bedroom and bathroom. It’s also recommended for both the infected family member and the cancer patient to wear a facemask, wash hands frequently, and clean all “high-touch” surfaces like counters, doorknobs, phones, etc.
Is there anything cancer patients can do to boost their immune system?
Health experts suggest there are steps you can take to allow your immune system to do its job as best it can. According to this recent wellness article, those steps include healthy eating, regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, you should get enough sleep and minimize stress. If you need assistance in this area, please ask to speak to our Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.