For cancer patients, the pandemic is not over

For cancer patients, the pandemic is not over

#cancer #patients #pandemic

COVID-19 concerns linger as Canadian society restarts.

For cancer patients, the pandemic is not over

OTTAWA, ON, July 25 MONDAY, February 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – A recent survey by the Canadian Cancer Survivors Network (CCSN) finds that Canadian cancer patients and their caregivers remain fearful and stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of respondents continue to take steps to protect themselves and the patients in their care, as the governments of Canada lift public health restrictions.

This is the fourth CCCN survey in a series conducted by the Leger firm to determine how cancer patients and their caregivers from coast to coast are coping with the pandemic now entering its third year.

“The survey results tell us that many cancer patients and their caregivers still believe that COVID-19 poses a serious risk to them and that they feel a responsibility to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” says Jackie Manthorne, President and CEO of the Canadian Network of Cancer Survivors.

Lifting of public health restrictions makes some patients feel less safe

Nearly half of RCSC respondents residing in Quebec said they were uncomfortable with the lifting of public health restrictions. One in three Quebec caregivers and one in five Quebec cancer patients said these changes would have a negative impact on their lives.

Patients and caregivers openly shared their concerns. “The virus is still present and will spread to the entire population when the mandatory mask is removed,” said a patient with kidney and lung cancer.

Concerns for immunocompromised patients

For immunocompromised and cancer patients, the lack of restrictions poses even greater risks. “If I get COVID with my immune system weakened, I risk getting sicker than others,” said a Quebec patient with stage 3 breast cancer.

Just over one in four, 26%, of patients who responded to the RCSC survey are immunocompromised, and 41% of caregivers care for an immunocompromised patient.

Protective measures, such as masks, are considered important

Most patients and caregivers feel the need to continue to take steps to protect themselves or the people they help from COVID-19. More than four in five Quebec respondents, 84%, said they intended to continue wearing the mask. Many have highlighted the importance of masks as an easy and effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Many respondents feel more responsible for taking steps to protect themselves now that public health restrictions have been lifted. “I am immunosuppressed and I have to be very careful when I go out. Many people no longer wear the mask and neglect hand washing. I go out very little,” said another Quebec breast cancer patient.

Access to care remains a concern

L’accès aux soins de santé remains an important domaine de preoccupation: 55% of the people questioned partout au Canada s’inquiètent de savoir if they received des soins dans une d’urgence, and 53% sued if they received leur traitement anticancéreux In due time. Half of those surveyed said they did not feel comfortable going to the hospital because they felt the risk of contracting COVID-19 was too high.

Cancer patients and caregivers are well aware of the pressure the pandemic has placed on the health care system and its effects on their access to care. “I am concerned that due to the sixth wave (which accompanies the lifting of restrictions), hospitals will be overwhelmed again,” said a person with thyroid cancer in Ontario. “As a result, surgeries are likely to be postponed again, leading to delayed diagnosis and a worse prognosis for cancer patients. »

Don’t abandon cancer patients!

“Cancer patients and their caregivers should not have to choose between protecting themselves from COVID-19 and participating fully in society. They need to know that the health care they depend on will be there for them when they need it most.

“When the next variant of COVID-19 emerges or when the next wave hits, governments and healthcare facilities must be prepared so that cancer care is never hindered and people with cancer are protected,” concludes Ms. Manthorne.

CBCN will continue to share data from this important fourth Leger survey, along with its three previous surveys, to inform Canadians and decision-makers across the country about the impact of the pandemic on people with cancer and their caregivers. .

About the survey

Entitled “Impact of the COVID-19 crisis on people with cancer,” this national online survey, conducted between April 13 and May 12, 2022, is the fourth in a series of surveys conducted by Leger for the RCSC. These surveys aim to assess how the disruption to cancer care caused by COVID-19 is affecting people with cancer and their caregivers, particularly in terms of mental health and physical well-being. This fourth survey focused on the levels of anxiety and concern among people with cancer and their carers about receiving adequate cancer care now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. The respondents consisted of 1,100 people diagnosed with cancer and 253 caregivers of cancer patients. In addition to national data, regional data is available for Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada.

Health index publication: 2022-07-25 – Number of visits since publication: 194

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