The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have extensive impacts on people across Canada and around the world. Every year, more than 200,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer. Those with cancer are among the most vulnerable in our communities right now and are at greater risk of more serious outcomes from COVID-19.
Unfortunately, cancer doesn’t stop being a life-changing and life-threatening disease in the middle of a pandemic. Our highest priority is to support people with cancer during and long after this pandemic is over.
If you are undergoing cancer treatment
Talk to your doctor or healthcare team about your risk. They are the best source of information if you have questions about your risk based on where you live and your medical history. They also will keep you updated about any possible changes to your cancer treatments. Extensive expert information is available on our website about cancer and COVID-19 and how to cope.
Update on our support system
We are continuing to actively monitor the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) regarding COVID-19. PHAC currently states the risk to Canadians is high and while the risk will vary between and within communities, some people are at an increased risk of more severe outcomes, including those who are aged 65 and over, as well as people with compromised immune systems or with underlying medical conditions, including cancer.
Only the Canadian Cancer Society enables a national support system that makes a real difference for people affected by cancer. Now, more than ever, our digital and phone support programs are critical to the people we serve, providing information and reducing anxiety and limiting feelings of isolation.
We encourage you to access these free support services and share them with others. They can all be accessed from home, by phone or computer:
- Cancer Information Helpline, a toll-free service to answer questions about cancer (1-888-939-3333)
- Cancerconnection.ca, an online community for people with cancer and their loved ones
- Cancer.ca, our website where you can find information on cancer and COVID-19 and live chat with one of our information specialists
- Webinars on COVID-19 for cancer patients provided by experts
If you use our in-person cancer support system, please know CCS is taking added precautions and has changed or suspended some programs given the people we serve are at an increased risk. This includes the volunteer drivers program and the wigs and breast prostheses banks. Our lodges reopened at the beginning of July. For the latest information on our in-person support programs, visit our programs pages for the latest information or call 1-888-939-3333.
Update on our fundraising activities
In order to comply with physical distancing guidelines, we have cancelled all in-person fundraising events and initiatives. We are refocusing our efforts on online events, and we encourage our supporters to get involved virtually and to discover a variety of ways to donate and support our critically needed programs.
To minimize the risk of getting sick, we recommend all Canadians follow the recommendations of Public Health Agency of Canada, including:
- Stay home and away from others if you are feeling sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol content or a non-alcohol hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- Use cleaning products to disinfect objects and surfaces you commonly touch, such as doorknobs, countertops, phones and toys.
- Stay home if you are feeling sick to avoid spreading germs to others
- Practise physical distancing, even if you are feeling well
- Wear a non-medical mask or a homemade face covering, especially if it’s not possible to consistently maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others.
For more details and the latest updates on COVID-19, including travel advice, please visit Public Health Agency of Canada.
If you have questions or need support, please call 1-888-939-3333. You can find updates, information and ways to support us at cancer.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Strategic Communications
Canadian Cancer Society
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.
Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca today.