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.
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/
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:
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.
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 and these activities and fun distractions we have begun to compile.
Join our online Inspire community for information, support, encouragement, and camaraderie.
OCRA offers three different virtially support groups, taking place every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 1pm EST. If you are interested in participating in a virtual support discussion facilitated by our Licensed Clinical Social Worker, please explore our offerings. This is a great way to meet others, share experiences and connect while social distancing. Registration is necessary so please sign up early to attend. Sponsorship support provided by Clovis Oncology, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline. Register here.
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.
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.
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.
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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 Virginia Beach, taking place Saturday, August 8th on OCRA’s Facebook page. Registration is free and open to all.
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.