COVID-19 continues to impact cancer patients and their treatments: survey

For men, obesity and diabetes accounted for a more than 40 per cent of liver cancers, while for women they were responsible for a third of uterine cancers, and nearly as many cases of breast cancer. (Jakub Cejpek/shutterstock.com)

A new survey indicates that Quebecers with cancer are still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to services offered by the health network. 

The second survey by the Coalition priorite cancer au Quebec, in the works since April, reveals that one out of two respondents say their treatments have been slowed by the pandemic. 

About 65 per cent of patients surveyed are still living with increased anxiety or mental health problems due to COVID-19. 

The survey specified most needs among those surveyed are associated to access to their specialists. 

In light of these results, the Coalition is proposing for the government to use health centres located outside hospitals to resume cancer treatments that usually take place within them. CLSCs and home care could be options, the Coalition says. 

It’s also suggesting to give patients the option to travel from one region to another to receive their treatments and surgeries more quickly, while maintaining communication and follow-ups with their original specialists. 

Director general of the Coalition, Eva Villalba, believes the Quebec government needs to be proactive to avoid a second slowdown that could result in significant consequences for several patients and their families, as well as long-term impacts on their health. 

The survey was carried out from May 12 to 26 and received responses from 554 people. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2020. 

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