Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help. If you have symptoms of cancer contact your doctor.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer

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Going into hospital

You’ll probably go into hospital on the day of your operation. For small early stage cancers, most people can have day surgery or stay overnight. For larger cancers, your may need to be in hospital a few days. The length of your stay depends on the type of operation you have and your recovery.

Before you go into hospital

It’s worth sorting out a few things before you go into hospital. These might include:

  • work
  • care for children or other loved ones
  • care for your pets
  • care for your house
  • cancelling your milk or newspapers

What to take with you

Take in:

  • nightgowns or pyjamas
  • underwear
  • dressing gown
  • slippers
  • contact lenses, solution, glasses and a case
  • wash bag with soap, a flannel or sponge, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • sanitary wear or tampons
  • razor
  • towel
  • small amount of money
  • medicines you normally take
  • magazines, books, playing cards
  • headphones and music to listen to
  • a tablet or smartphone for web browsing, entertainment and phone calls

It may be helpful to take a notepad and a pen with you. Often, patients may not be able to speak when they first wake up from surgery and this can be used to communicate more easily. 

Family and friends

Your family or friends can go in with you to help you settle in. You’ll need to check the time of your operation and when the visiting times are.

The time it takes to do the operation depends on the type of surgery you have. Most operations take a few hours. The nurse will give you numbers for your family or friends to phone to find out how you are.

Information and help