What We’re Reading: Resources for the Cancer Community in a COVID-19 World
Coronavirus knows no border, race, ethnicity, gender, or political orientation — but it does serve as yet another challenge for the cancer community.
For those in active treatment, it means grappling with a five-fold increased risk of mortality from COVID-19, according to Dr. Prasun J. Mishra, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Precision Medicine and Chair of the AAPM Coronavirus Taskforce. Caregivers must be even more cautious as they worry about exposing their loved one to another health concern. For survivors, this new state of being can offer unwelcome flashbacks to the isolation many experience during their cancer journeys. Oncologists, nurses, and other healthcare workers are risking their own safety to ensure cancer patients continue to receive the life-saving care they need.
To the admirable and persevering cancer community: We see you. We’re here to help. And to better understand what this new reality means for you, we’re keeping a close pulse on the latest developments, stories, advice, and resources that will help us gain some clarity during these unprecedented times. Here are our recent findings:
We’re turning to the experts for trustworthy status updates. This particular guide is from the National Cancer Institute, and it details the virus’ impact on cancer patients, shares pertinent advice, and links out to related resources. Even better: The page is consistently reviewed and updated as information about the pandemic continues to develop.
This helpful Q&A comes from an expert pairing: Dr. Richard Schilsky, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Shelley Fuld Nasso, Chief Executive Officer of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS). The questions cover topics related to risk, public health recommendations, and cancer treatment during the coronavirus era, with an overarching takeaway to discuss the best course of action with cancer care teams before making any rash decisions.
Find out the answers.
Shedding light on the oncology community’s response to the widespread virus, this detailed article covers the preparations and adjustments cancer centers are making. This includes implementing screening protocols for patients and visitors, utilizing protective equipment, connecting cancer support groups online rather than in person, and other vigilant efforts to help patients make it to the other side of cancer as well as this pandemic.
Read the full article.
This story serves as a sobering reminder that the financial side effects of cancer will only be compounded by coronavirus, and most especially if a cancer patient contracts the virus. While Dani is, thankfully, fully recovered from coronavirus and set to resume chemotherapy within another week or so, her bank account surely won’t bounce back as quickly. Other cancer patients and their families will face similar financial concerns, as they navigate the costs of cancer while taking extra precautions against the worldwide health crisis.
Read Dani’s story.
Bonnie is a breast cancer survivor and CURE magazine contributor who shared her self-care tips for a sense of calm and stability during a time wrought with concern. CURE is a great resource for cancer patients, and the online magazine is continually sharing updates from medical experts about managing cancer and a pandemic, understanding the impact on cancer care, and more. Much like they always do, the members of the cancer community are actively overcoming the challenges of coronavirus and supporting each other along the way.
Be kind to yourself.
Always walking the fine line between her right and left brain, Stevie brings her creative and strategic thinking to her role as Marketing Coordinator. Through writing and design, she amplifies Family Reach’s voice and puts financial toxicity in the spotlight.
Diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at 51 years old, Pam worried about how the financial burden of her diagnosis would affect her and her daughter.
Moms with cancer shared letters filled with empathy, advice, and words of encouragement to support others mothers who are going through treatment.
More than raising critical funds to meet deep needs caused by COVID-19, #WeSeeYou is spreading awareness for the cancer community.