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Covid-19: What cancer patients need to know

In the interests of cancer patients and survivors, amid the rapid spread of Covid-19, the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) is releasing information to help keep patients and survivors safe, and providing support through online platforms.

The association’s Chief Executive Officer, Elize Joubert, says: “Cancer patients and survivors are among those at higher risk of serious illness from an infection, because their immune systems are often weakened. It’s important that we educate on what can be done to lower their risk of contracting the virus, and what to do if they contract it. We also want them to know they are not alone, despite the imminent 21-day lockdown.”

Cancer patients will continue to stay at some of the Cansa Care Homes, with protective measures and strict infection procedures, especially while the public hospitals are open and receiving patients. Cansa Care Homes cater for patients receiving cancer treatment with accommodation, transport and meals. In the other provinces, plans have been made for critical patients to be admitted full-time to specific hospitals or treatment centres.

“Cansa staff and volunteers will also continue to support patients online through our website, social media support groups and platforms during the lockdown period,” Joubert said. “We appeal to those who are in a position to enable our continued support of cancer survivors and patients through online donations.”

Cansa will continue assisting stoma and ostomy patients with orders and deliveries, which will be processed once a week, on Thursdays. Patients and survivors can mail thavenga@cansa.org.za or stomapta@cansa.org.za or WhatsApp 078 942 9290.

“Thank you to all our dedicated caregivers, nurses and medical staff who have, selflessly, continued to put our patients’ needs first, regardless of personal risk at this time. We would not be able to carry out our unique service delivery offering if it were not for them – we are exceptionally grateful to have such a wonderful care team.”

Cansa will continue supporting patients virtually via their website www.cansa.org.za.

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