Frequently Asked Questions about the Coronavirus

While COVID-19 has presented unique challenges to everyone, the UK Markey Cancer Center remains open and committed to providing world-class treatment and research for our patients, both at physical locations and via telehealth appointments.

Leaders at Markey are closely monitoring this public health crisis with UK HealthCare leadership and would like to provide some guidance to our cancer patients and answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19.

For more general information and resources regarding COVID-19, visit the UK HealthCare COVID-19 website. You can also download our COVID-19 social distancing flyer to hang on your home's door for deliveries and packages.


Should I keep my appointment at the Markey Cancer Center?

If you have symptoms of a COVID-19 infection or were exposed to someone infected with the virus, you should call your physician’s office before coming to the Markey Cancer Center. The health care team will assist you in determining the next steps.

If you do not have symptoms, keep your scheduled appointment. The Markey Cancer Center is beginning to use telehealth for patient appointments. Your provider may contact you to discuss a telehealth visit or reschedule a non-essential appointment to a time when the risk of COVID-19 infection is lower.

If I have cancer, what can I do to protect myself from COVID-19?

The best protection from a viral infection is prevention. Avoid close contact with others, particularly if you have other serious or chronic medical conditions. Keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face. Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces like countertops, tables, doorknobs, light switches, phones, desks, keyboards, faucets, toilets, and sinks. Do not travel unless necessary.

For more information and resources around good practices during this time, visit the UK HealthCare COVID-19 website.

How is the Markey Cancer Center screening for COVID-19?

Patients and visitors should pre-screen for COVID-19 prior to visiting Markey Cancer Center and UK HealthCare buildings using the online pre-screening system. Screening means asking questions to identify anyone 1) exposed to COVID-19, or 2) with upper respiratory symptoms, including fever AND cough or shortness of breath. All patients, visitors, students and staff are required to wear face coverings while in patient care areas.

Are there any restrictions that may affect my family or friends during my visit to the Markey Cancer Center?

Visit UK HealthCare's full COVID-19 visitation policy webpage for more information.

Can I still get my chemotherapy if I am feeling well?

At this time, there is no evidence to support changing or withholding chemotherapy or immunotherapy in patients with cancer. The balance of potential harms from delaying therapy versus the potential benefits from possibly preventing a COVID-19 infection is very uncertain. There is no evidence to suggest that people with cancer are more likely to get a COVID-19 infection compared to the general population. A preliminary report indicates that patients with cancer may have a higher incidence of severe events compared to other people infected with COVID-19. At this time, oncologists continue to treat cancer patients with chemotherapy as long as they are feeling well with no symptoms of an active infection. The decision to treat cancer with chemotherapy is an important one and should be made only after consultation with your oncologist.

Will I be able to have my cancer operation?

As recommended by the CDC and the American College of Surgeons, elective surgeries may be postponed to save essential resources like personal protective equipment, intensive care beds, or ventilators. However, most cancer surgeries are not elective and will continue as planned. If your cancer is very slow-growing and a temporary delay in the operation will not affect your health, your surgeon may elect to postpone your procedure for a short time.

What is Markey and UK HealthCare doing to keep facilities clean and safe?

The UK HealthCare Environmental Services team is trained and prepared in this battle against COVID-19 and making sure that our facilities meet the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitization every single day.

Learn more about our efforts in the video below.

NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - A Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Markey Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – a distinction that recognizes our commitment to accelerating precision cancer research and care to patients. We are the first and only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kentucky, and one of 57 in the nation.