Impact of COVID-19 on Access to Care on Cancer Patients

Impact of COVID-19 on Access to Care on Cancer Patients

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network recently released a second national survey showing the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having on cancer patients and survivors.

 Key findings include:

COVID-19 is affecting cancer patients’ ability to access care.

  • 87% of respondents said the pandemic had affected their health care in some manner, up from 51% in an April survey
  • Of those in active treatment 79% reported delays to their health care (up from 27%), including 17% of patients who reported delays to their cancer therapy.
  • Nearly one in four patients surveyed say the pandemic has made it more difficult to contact their providers with questions about their health care needs.
  • One in five say they are worried their cancer could be growing or returning due to delays and interruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The economic impact of the pandemic is affecting many cancer patients and survivors.

  • 46% said the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted their financial situation and ability to pay for care in some way (up from 38%).
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) said they worry they may lose their health insurance due to the pandemic and its effects on the economy.

This combined medical and financial stress is impacting the mental health of cancer patients.

  • Nearly half (48%) of patients said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a moderate or major effect on their mental health.
  • In particular, 67% said they worry it will be harder for them to stay safe when social distancing and other restrictions are relaxed in their area.

More information on the survey results can be found on the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network press release.