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Survey: Cancer patients continue to struggle during COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 8:56 AM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 11:56:34-04

A recent survey found that cancer patients are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a second survey found that there are more delays in care, financial strain and negative mental health effects that cancer patients face as a direct result of the pandemic.

“The situation is getting worse, not better for cancer patients during this pandemic,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “Health practitioners continue to work to balance safety for an immunocompromised population at increased risk for contracting COVID with timely treatment to prevent the spread of cancer. Unfortunately, this results in delays in treatment for many cancer patients.”

The survey also obtained feedback from a group of providers and caregivers who reported concern about delayed care for patients.

"A cancer diagnosis brings any number of challenges and stressors, but right now it’s even more fraught with additional barriers to timely and affordable care that could be further exacerbated by job loss – like millions of Americans have already endured,” said Lacasse. “COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the barriers to affordable health care that cancer patients have long faced. The survey responses highlight the increasing and urgent need for Congress to swiftly pass measures that help these patients alleviate their physical, financial and emotional strain during and beyond the pandemic.”