While every person on this planet is affected by COVID-19, those newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer, undergoing treatment, or in remission may have additional concerns – from weighing the need for treatment against exposure to the virus, to how the pandemic may be affecting routine care. We hope the following serves as a helpful resource.
NIH National Cancer Institute offers an array of information and resources for cancer patients; everything from understanding the novel coronavirus to questions about clinical trials. ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) also speaks to how patient care may be modified in light of the pandemic, including information on therapies, surgery, screenings and more. If you have questions about whether treatment is necessary or can be delayed, please consult with your physician.
Following CDC guidelines to protect against the novel coronavirus remains the standard protocol: washing hands properly, avoiding close contact with others, cleaning and disinfecting, and self-isolating as much as possible.
This video from Tracy, OCRA’s oncology social worker, addresses some of the concerns that have been voiced within the ovarian and gynecologic cancer community, and offers some strategies for preserving our mental health while self-isolating:
First, remember that you are not alone. Our oncology social worker Tracy is just a phone call away. Call 212-268-1002 Monday through Friday if you need support. If she misses your call, she will get back to you within 24 hours.
For ways to “get out” and connect, look to digital: every day, new arts and cultural institutions are sharing ways to explore the world and feel connected from the safety of your home. Enjoy this list of resources we have begun to compile.
Join our online Inspire community for information, support, encouragement, and camaraderie.
Participate in a video chat for gynecologic cancer patients and survivors on Friday, April 3rd at 1pm Eastern. The group will be a great opportunity to meet with new friends and talk about what’s on our minds. It will be limited capacity, so please sign up early.
Connect with a trained peer mentor who knows what it’s like to navigate gynecologic cancer and wants to be there for someone newly diagnosed, facing recurrence, managing completion of therapy and off-treatment concerns, or fears of living with ovarian cancer in the COVID-19 times. Click here to request a mentor match.
Woman to Woman is generously supported in part by grants from Gail Baird Foundation and Genentech.
Our Woman to Woman peer support program provides support and a listening ear. It’s completely virtual and open to all gynecologic cancer patients.
We asked our Woman to Woman mentors to share messages of hope, along with their strategies for coping with these uncertain times. See what they have to say.
Dr. Beth Karlan, Chair of OCRA’s Scientific Advisory Committee, stated in a recent email, “While the COVID-19 global pandemic is on everyone’s mind, our patients real battle against ovarian cancer remains their most pressing concern. So we press on.”
And we are pressing on. Our mission has not faltered in the slightest. Our programs and advocacy efforts continue, and research moves forward. Please feel secure in knowing that no matter what, this will not change. What may change, however, are some of the details surrounding our events, and how our programs may be run.
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