The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

COVID-19
& Breast Cancer

COVID-19 and Breast Cancer: Resources and Updates for October 30th

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


Navigating COVID-19 and Breast Cancer

While it is understandable to have concerns about being out in public due to the ongoing risk of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to keep up with your cancer care. If you previously had an appointment cancelled, make sure that you reschedule it and get seen as soon as you can.

Emerging Research

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute released a report earlier in October, that provides an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on cancer treatment, research, and on individuals diagnosed with cancer. Here are just some of their main findings:

  • individuals diagnosed with cancer are at high-risk of adverse effects if diagnosed with COVID-19 due to a weakened immune system, either from the cancer itself or from cancer treatments
    • study findings on which therapies increased patient's risk is mixed as most studies have look at systemic therapies as a whole rather than separately
  • fear of contracting COVID-19 should not hinder patients from keeping up with their cancer care
  • a study with breast cancer patients showed that telemedicine was associated with a higher quality of life
    • telemedicine, however, cannot be mandated as it can cause disparities in healthcare access
  • there has been a sharp decline in cancer diagnoses and screening due to cancelled and delayed appointments
  • COVID-19 has impacted some clinical trials and funding for cancer-related organizations
  • some COVID-19 treatment methods come from cancer research

Researchers of a study on breast cancer patients, both early and late stage, who were diagnosed with COVID-19, concluded that mortality rate was most dependent on comorbidities, as opposed to history with radiation therapy or with current anti-cancer treatment.

study of 216 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in Spain, found that 82% of patients had a vitamin D deficiency. This is compared to a 47% vitamin D deficiency in a control group of 197 individuals. Although the difference in vitamin D levels was found, researchers noted that the study should not be taken to mean that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for contracting the COVID-19 virus; more research is needed to determine this.

COVID-19 Updates Across Canada

Since our last newsletter, here are some of the recent news and updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada that may be of interest to you. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and is current as of October 30th.

Canada

  • The COVID-19 Alert App, which alerts you of potential COVID-19 exposure and which has been recently updated, is available to individuals in the following provinces:
    • Manitoba

    • New Brunswick

    • Newfoundland and Labrador

    • Nova Scotia

    • Ontario

    • Prince Edward Island

    • Quebec

    • Saskatchewan

Alberta

Manitoba

  • Manitoba is introducing a new, appointment-based scheduling system for COVID-19 which will first be rolled-out in Winnipeg.
  • COVID-19 testing in now available in in Dauphin, Swan River, Brandon (Keystone Centre site), Winkler, Steinbach, Portage la Prairie, Flin Flon, The Pas and Thompson.
  • A new drive-up site for COVID-19 testing has been opened in Brandon.
  • A new drive-up site for COVID-19 testing will be opening in the Manitoba Public Insurance building at 125 King Edward St. in Winnipeg.

New Brunswick

  • 211 NB, a free, bilingual resource for New Brunswickers to access a variety of services, including non-clinical health services, was launched.
  • New travel restrictions, with some exceptions, were put in place in regard to the Quebec border.

Nova Scotia

  • Nova Scotians can now access online booking for COVID-19 testing appointments for assessment centres in the Central Zone or at IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

Ontario

  • York region has been added to the list of areas of higher community spread.

Quebec

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