The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

COVID-19
& Breast Cancer

COVID-19 and Breast Cancer: Resources and Updates for April 5th to April 11th

If you think that you may have the COVID-19 virus, you can use this self-assessment tool. Links to the COVID-19 response from each province and territory, as well as their telehealth contact information, can be found here.

What Your Medical Oncologist Wants You to Know During the COVID-19 Crisis

We reached out to oncologists across Canada to better understand the changes to treatment schedules and doctors’ appointments due to COVID-19. Find out what your medical oncologist wants you to know during the COVID-19 crisis.

Your Questions Answered

Q: Due to the coronavirus, I can't get a mammogram done through the breast screening program in my province. Is there somewhere else where I can access a mammogram?

A: If this is a regularly scheduled mammogram, as part of a screening program, public programs are currently suspended to ensure the safety of patients. It's expected that these programs will resume after the peak COVID-19 period has passed; you should follow up with your screening program at that time. If you are symptomatic, meaning you've found a lump or there are noticable changes in your breast, your family doctor can still refer you for diagnostic imaging; however, there may be an increased wait time for this testing

Q: I've heard through an online group that treatments are being delayed or cancelled in some provinces. This is very concerning for those of us living with metastatic breast cancer who are receiving treatments that are working to keep our breast cancer managed. What can we do to ensure that treatments will continue?
 

A: It's understandable that hearing that is concerning, especially for people living with metastatic breast cancer; the information shared by oncologists (in the section above) provides some insight into why this is happening and how these decisions are being made. Cancer Care agencies across the country are working with experts to develop guidelines that will ensure people with cancer continue to manage their disease or receive treatments that will give them good outcomes, while minimizing their exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Q: There are many of us who must still go to appointments for treatments. Many of us know, if we do get COVID-19, we will need help and yet probably be triaged to the bottom of the list. What are we to do?
 

A: The best thing you can do is trying to stay as isolated as possible and protected when you have to go in for treatment by wearing a non-medical mask, remembering to not touch your face, using hand sanitizer and washing your hands properly.

Your cancer care team may also make adjustments to your treatment schedule to help reduce the number of times you have to go in to the hospital for treatment. Cancer Centres have also all implemented additional precautions to try to minimize the exposure to COVID-19 and risks for their patients.

The Canadian Cancer Society also has a list of COVID-19 and cancer-related Q and A's that you can view.

If you have any questions, email us at cbcn@cbcn.ca


Cancer and COVID-19 Resources

The New Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidelines for People Coping with Cancer from CancerCare

This Is What It Looks Like to Be #HighRiskCOVID19 from healthline

Breast Cancer and COVID-19 Resources

Getting breast cancer treatment during COVID-19 from Living Beyond Breast Cancer

Coronavirus and breast cancer: where we are now from Living Beyond Breast Cancer

Mental Health Resources

CancerCare's Claire Granger Teaches a Breathing Technique to Help Cope with Anxiety (video) from CancerCare

Coping with cancer and COVID-19 from Canadian Cancer Society

Financial Resources

Changes to taxes and benefits: CRA and COVID-19 from Canada Revenue Agency

COVID-19: Managing financial health in challenging times from Canada Revenue Agency

Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit from the Government of Canada

Will you get paid if you self-isolate for coronavirus? It depends from CBC

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