About the COVID-19 and Cancer Care Disruption

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network conducted a survey of 1,243 people (960 cancer patients, 206 caregivers of cancer patients and 77 patients in cancer pre-diagnosis) from May 22 to June 10, 2020, using Leger’s online panel, LEO, and with participation from the broader cancer community to assess the impact that COVID-19 has had on access to cancer care. The results of our survey revealed that the disruption of cancer care due to COVID-19 has triggered another public health crisis. 

In fact, more than half (54%) of Canadian cancer patients, caregivers and those awaiting confirmation of a cancer diagnosis reported having appointments, tests and treatment postponed and cancelled, which caused heightened fears and anxiety – even as some pandemic restrictions were lifted. 

The survey results confirm that safe and timely access to essential cancer care, including diagnostics, testing and treatment, must remain a top priority across Canada during any public health crisis.

Raymond Rupert, patient advocate and healthcare consultant.