Information on COVID-19 for Ovarian Cancer Patients

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. 

Patient care information

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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.

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology has released new guidelines for treatment in the time of COVID-19. These new recommendations provide helpful guidance for clinicians and gynecologic cancer patients alike, with emphasis on taking steps to avoid or minimize hospital visit when possible, and weighing risks of hospital visits against risk of infection. https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/home/cancer-topics/gynecologic-cancer/gynecologic-oncology-society-sgo-publishes-coronavirus-covid19-guidelines/

Protecting against COVID-19

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.

Support and resources

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:

Where can I find financial help?

If you’ve been impacted financially by the changes this crisis has brought about, you are far from alone. Fortunately, there is help available. View our list of financial support resources tailored specifically to help you through these challenging times.

What can I do at home to stay active and feel less alone?

Phone

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. 

Immerse yourself in mindful activities and fun distractions

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 and these activities and fun distractions we have begun to compile.

Join our ovarian cancer online community

Inspire Community

Join our online Inspire community for information, support, encouragement, and camaraderie. 

Participate in the OCRA “Staying Connected” online support group

Staying Connected Support Group

Participate in a video chat for gynecologic cancer patients and survivors, Tuesdays at 1PM Eastern. The group will be a great opportunity to meet with new friends and talk about what’s on our minds. Registration is necessary, so please sign up early. Sponsorship support provided by Clovis Oncology, Inc.

Connect with a Woman to Woman mentor

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.

Read messages of hope from our Woman to Woman mentors

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.

OCRA’s work continues

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.

Program and Event Updates

OCRA National Conference guests

Catch up on where we are with the “Uniting for Hope” National Conference scheduled for this July, other upcoming events, the latest news, and how you can get support in these challenging times, in a special message from our Audra Moran, OCRA’s President & CEO.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates.

Ovarian Cycle fitness events raise funds through livestream workouts

Sara Polikov Ovarian Cycle Atlanta

Ovarian Cycle, our signature indoor cycling series with events across the country, have ditched the spin bikes and embraced home workouts to empower the ovarian cancer community. Ovarian Cycle Atlanta, held on April 19, raised $40,000 for research, advocacy and programs to support survivors.

Next up is Ovarian Cycle Chicago, taking place Sunday, April 26th on OCRA’s Facebook page. Registration is free and open to all.

Survivors Teaching Students moves to virtual learning

Survivors Teaching Students

What happens when medical classrooms are empty as classes move online? Survivors Teaching Students® (STS) moves with them. Our 900 survivor and caregiver volunteers continue to share their experiences to help the next generation of healthcare providers better understand ovarian cancer by crossing the digital divide.