What does covid-19 mean for people with cancer?

Thursday 23 April 2020

What our visitors need support with at the moment and how the way we support them has changed because of coronavirus (covid-19).

Over the last few weeks, since the lockdown, we’ve switched from seeing people with cancer and their families face-to-face in our centres to supporting them over the phone and on email.

What we’ve seen from the thousands of calls and online chats we’ve had is that anxieties about cancer are being made a lot worse by the current situation. 

Every day we are hearing from the people we are supporting about their very real fear over what suspension of treatment might mean for them. Added to that is the intense loneliness of self-isolation and being alone with difficult thoughts. It can be overwhelming.

How we are continuing to support people with cancer

We were proud to be featured on the BBC Big Night In on Thursday 23 April – see Karen our Newcastle Centre Head speak movingly about how we’re continuing to support people and their families living with cancer at this incredibly difficult time:


We are also working alongside the NHS to help people cope with the uncertainty and stress at this time. 

We are offering them the best psychological support but we are also asking for people with cancer not to become the collateral of this health crisis.

Our Chief Executive Laura Lee has shared her views about this in the press in articles in The Times and The Guardian and also on BBC Radio 4’s World at One.

We will continue to speak up for people with cancer and offer them the crucial support they need at this time.

The government needs to be more articulate about the issue, in the same way it has explored the effects of Covid on, for example, businesses and employment. In a sense, the plight of Covid isn't just with those who are going through Covid.
 – Laura Lee, The Times, 14 April 

At the moment there is a stoical acceptance that cancer can’t be the priority in this global crisis but there will be anger that people with cancer may become collateral damage. Cancer brings huge feelings of resentment against the hand you have been played at the best of times but this is really hard.
 – Laura Lee, The Guardian, 4 April


How we can support you now


How can we best support you?

To help us understand how best to support you in this difficult time, could you take a moment to answer this very short survey on how the coronavirus outbreak has affected your cancer treatment? Thank you.

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