As breast cancer survivors, some of whom are undergoing treatment, we all live each day with uncertainty. That uncertainty is now exacerbated by a pandemic. And that pandemic creates very real issues for all of us. Are there barriers to treatment? Should I risk going to the hospital? Doctor’s office? And many more. At NBCC we are trying to get a handle on what the issues are and then push for policies to address them. Our first step from March 24-29, 2020, was to distribute a brief, eleven question, electronic survey to our members and their respective networks about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on breast cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and others.
The survey included a mix of close-ended questions, partially open-ended multiple-choice response options, Likert-scaled, and open-ended response questions. The survey was distributed three times via email over five days and also promoted across social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter. We are slightly revising the questions and will keep the survey open on our website.
The primary goals of the survey were to:
NBCC is continuing to gather information and resources for breast cancer survivors as they become available. The below links include a few information resources addressing some of the concerns that were expressed in the NBCC breast cancer and COVID-19 survey. Please review and contact your healthcare provider for any questions or concerns regarding your treatment during this time.
COVID-19 Pandemic Breast Cancer Consortium – The consortium is made up of representatives from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, Commission on Cancer, the American Society of Breast Surgeons and National Comprehensive Cancer Network. They compiled preliminary guidelines for prioritization, treatment and triage of breast cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommendations are broken down into priority categories based on patient condition.
ASCO – Coronavirus resources to support clinicians, the cancer care delivery team, and patients with cancer. ASCO invited members to submit questions and has posted answers to frequently asked questions. This information is being updated as new questions emerge and additional information is available.
FDA – Guidance on conduct of clinical trials of medical products during COVID-19 pandemic. The FDA outlined general considerations to assist sponsors in assuring the safety of trial participants, maintaining compliance with good clinical practice (GCP), and minimizing risks to trial integrity during the pandemic.