The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

COVID-19
& Breast Cancer

COVID-19 and Breast Cancer: Resources and Updates for August 7th

If you think that you may have the COVID-19 virus, you can use this self-assessment tool

If you have any questions about the impact of COVID-19 as a breast cancer patient, email us at cbcn@cbcn.ca


Cancer and COVID-19

Cancer Added to List of High-Risk Conditions

Individuals who are older, have underlying medical condition(s) or who are immuno-compromised were identified as being at a higher risk of having severe complications if they were to contract COVID-19, when the virus was first announced. A handful of studies went on to show that individuals with cancer were at high-risk of COVID-19 complications as well. Based on such data, the CDC officially added cancer to their list of conditions that can lead to an increased risk of severe illness on July 17th. At this time, the CDC has not made an official statement on how a history of cancer impacts one's risk.

It's important to note that past studies have shown that all cancer patients don't have the same risk level. Risk level can be impacted by the stage of cancer and type of cancer treatment as well as the type of cancer, with breast cancer patients being identified as having a lower risk of complications when compared to other types of cancers.

Latest Research on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Patients

The COVID-19 & Cancer Consortium (CCC19) is a patient registry launched and crowd-sourced by cancer researchers from over 100 institutions that analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients. Their first study, published in May, showed that patients in active treatment, who are older and who have comorbidities were at a higher risk of COVID-19 complications. Their latest findings, released near the end of July, shows that cancer patients who contract COVID-19 die at a rate 3 times higher than non-cancer COVID-19 patients. Their first findings included around 1,000 patients and showed a mortality rate of 13% while their second findings included a little over 2,000 patients and showed a mortality rate of 16%.

Making Cancer Testing and Treatment Accessible During the Pandemic

Project ACTT (Access to Cancer Testing & Treatment) is a $2,590,000 initiative developed to provide cancer patients with access to testing and treatment. The initiative will use a liquid biopsy solution that needs a simple blood draw for cancer treatment, as a way to eliminate cancer patients having to go to hospitals for surgical biopsies. Project ACTT, composed of 10 institutions, will help in getting cancer patients the treatment they need while reducing their risk of contracting COVID-19 if they were to have to go into the hospital.

COVID-19's Impact on Breast Cancer Care

In Special Report: COVID-19’s Impact on Breast Cancer Care, Breastcancer.org rounds up important information on the impact of COVID-19 on breast care care, from the risks breast cancer patients face to how to get the best care possible.

COVID-19 Updates Across Canada

Since our last newsletter, here are some of the recent news releases, resources, updates and reminders related to the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada that may be of interest to you. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

Canada

Alberta

  • Masks will be mandatory for students in Grades 4 to 12 and staff. Students and staff will be provided with two reusable masks from the government
  • Testing for COVID-19 for asymptomatic people is being expanded to interested and eligible pharmacies
  • A $45 million funding was recently announced to help with providing affordable and accessible child care to parents
  • re-entry tool kit has been designed to help parents know what to expect when children return to school
  • Due to two positive COVID-19 cases at Red Deer Regional Hospital, visitors will only be allowed in end-of-life situations, for maternity and pediatric patients, or for patients with cognitive or mobility impairments
  • Due to ongoing transmission of COVID-19, Misericordia Community Hospital is temporarily closed to new patients
  • An emergency funding program for patients of the Grande Prairie Cancer Centre and the Peace River Community Cancer Centre experiencing financial distress was recently announced

British Columbia

Manitoba

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

Ontario

Prince Edward Island

Quebec

Saskatchewan

Yukon

Resources

While Ontario is the first province where individuals can report a COVID-19 diagnosis through the COVID Alert app, all Canadians are being encouraged to download the app. Canadians can also access a list of 'Locations where you may have been exposed to COVID-19' in order to be aware of high-risk places.

With so many financial supports available and constantly being updated, it may be hard to know which ones are best suited for you. This questionnaire can help you figure out which government financial support is right for you. There is also this questionnaire for business owners.

 CBCN Resources

CBCN has produced the following resources on navigating COVID-19 as a breast cancer patient since the start of the pandemic:

Documents

Re-Opening Plans Across Canada for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast Screening Status Across Canada

Factsheet on Continuing Cancer Treatment During the COVID-19 Crisis

Blogs

How Handwashing and Social Distancing Can Keep You Safe

Is It Safe To Go For Cancer Treatments During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

What Your Oncologist Wants You To Know During The COVID-19 Crisis

Impact of COVID-19 on Breast Cancer Patients Part 1: Delayed Surgeries and Treatments

Impact of COVID-19 on Breast Cancer Patients Part 2: Impact of Your Cancer Treatment and Management on Your Immune System

How Breast Cancer Prepared Me For COVID-19

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