Cancer and COVID-19

We are in unprecedented times. Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic on March 11th, 2020, we have seen the total number of cases in Canada rise to 121,234 and we collectively are mourning the loss of 9,015 Canadians, whose deaths are related to COVID-19 (Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, August 13, 2020). The CMF is staying abreast of the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding COVID-19. PHAC has deemed COVID-19 a serious health threat to Canadians. On its website, PHAC notes that COVID-19 can make anyone sick, but that some Canadians are at higher risk of more severe outcomes. These include, for example, people aged 65 and over, people with compromised immune systems, and people with underlying medical conditions. You can learn more about the Government of Canada's recommendations on how to prevent exposure to the virus by clicking here.

The CMF is actively monitoring the websites of organizations that publish clinical practice guidelines for any information on mesothelioma and COVID-19. We will post information and resources as they become available. Below, you will find links to resources from the Canadian Cancer Society and to provincial agencies that have posted information for patients on cancer and COVID-19. We have also provided links to the US National Cancer Institute and Mesothelioma UK.

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) has updated their website with a number of resources about cancer and COVID-19 that may be helpful to you and your family:

  • Cancer and COVID-19: This page provides general information about COVID-19 and the risk to Canadians with cancer. In addition, it explains how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and what to do if you have symptoms; it describes programs and resources that are available to help people better manage a cancer diagnosis; and lists the numbers in each province that patients should call if they are being treated for cancer and if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Coping with cancer and COVID-19: This page describes some of the feelings you might be experiencing if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer – feelings that may be heightened by the added stress of a cancer diagnosis during a global pandemic. It also provides some suggestions for coping with cancer and COVID-19, as well as some links to resources that may help.
  • Accommodation for cancer patients during COVID-19: This page provides a list of phone numbers that patients or their families can call if they have questions about alternative accommodation (while the CCS lodges are temporarily closed), as well as if they are seeking information about subsidies, transportation or meals.
  • Financial supports by region: This page is a repository of information on national and provincial programs offering financial support in response to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Cancer and COVID-19 webinar series: This page provides links to webinars on COVID-19 and cancer to offer support and information to people with cancer and their caregivers, family and friends. Each webinar is presented by an expert speaker and addresses a central question about managing cancer needs during this time of COVID-19.

Canadian resources for patients on COVID-19 and cancer, by province

International resources for patients on COVID-19 and cancer