COVID-19’s reach into our health and well-being extends well past getting infected. It is influencing and impacting our decision to get screened for other illnesses and treated altogether. Cancer is not immune to this - Patients are delaying treatments or, worse yet, cancelling them at a rate of 25% in North America and as high as 60% in developing nations.
What can you do?
For starters, anybody that is already receiving treatments should “stay the course”. The impacts of delaying or abandoning treatments, especially in the later stages of a treatment plan, can be significant and even fatal. For these patients, the simplest advice is to control what you can control. For example, protect yourself – wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance, limit interactions, seek counsel and support virtually. Additionally, medical centers are expanding and enforcing their COVID protocols to protect patients visiting their facilities.
Secondly, we all play a part in managing the risk of rising cancer mortality rates worldwide as a result of non-treatment. Cancers that could have been caught and treated early with good outcomes may become life-threatening if they remain undetected and untreated. Get screened, consult your physician, find support from the cancer community as well as family and friends. There are multiple resources available to patients to help guide you through the treatment experience. If you have questions about programs in your area, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help.
Together, we can have a lasting impact and influence on the cancer community.
Below are some articles highlighting the potential impacts of delayed treatments: