The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted healthcare, and cancer is no exception. In fact, within less than 2 months following the start of the pandemic, average weekly new cancer diagnoses dropped by about 46% across six major types of cancers (breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric and esophageal cancer combined).
That doesn’t mean fewer people are getting cancer, instead they may be going undiagnosed until their cancer reaches a later stage when it may be less treatable and survival rates are low. Because of this, a large number of cancer deaths are predicted over the next five years due to potential missed screenings and reductions in oncology essential diagnostic services caused by the pandemic.
But we can do something about it. We must come together as a community to prioritize our health – to check-in with our doctors for routine healthcare visits, prioritize screenings, ask questions about unusual symptoms and encourage our loved ones to do the same. Our hospitals and healthcare settings have made great progress in establishing important safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s time to safely resume care.
New Normal, Same Cancer is an initiative that hopes to support all of us, from patients to caregivers, to families and friends, in taking care of ourselves and prioritizing our health.
1. Get Care. Don’t Wait
If you or a loved one have symptoms, have paused treatment, or canceled routine preventative screenings during the pandemic, now is the time to check-in with your doctor and safely resume care.
2. Lend YOUR Voice
Let’s put our health first and ensure all those we love do the same. Share these resources with your communities and on social media using the hashtag #NewNormalSameCancer. Consider tagging 5 individuals or organizations to challenge them to do the same and keep the momentum going.
3. Resources and Information:
Learn more about the inspiring work happening at the community level and tap into available resources to manage your health in this challenging time, including The Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Back on the Books Program, which speaks to the importance of rescheduling recommended cancer screenings. We want to extend our deep gratitude for the incredible work of our patient and medical professional partners to keep patients informed during COVID-19.
For helpful resources at your fingertips about telemedicine, health equity, connecting with your community, and healthy living, please see below:
COVID-19 Information for People with Cancer
We at AstraZeneca understand that navigating this new normal comes with a unique set of challenges, and recognize the weight that comes with a cancer diagnosis. In this challenging time, managing and maintaining your health is critical. We know that cancer doesn’t stop and are here with you as, together, we navigate this New Normal, Same Cancer. We encourage you to visit https://www.covid19cancerresources.com for more resources from our partners in the patient advocacy community working on the frontlines of healthcare across our country.