Ovarian Cancer Webinar
The Partnership is pleased to announce that registration for the upcoming webinar, Identifying Ovarian Cancer Symptoms: Promoting Early Diagnosis, Treatment and Improved Outcomes Through Rapid Referral, hosted by the Rhode Island Department of Health and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University is now open.
This is a free, live webinar that will be held on October 26, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST. CE credit is available for this event at no cost. Register now!
To find out more information and register, please click here: https://cme-learning.brown.edu/early
Survey: Coronavirus Health Care Delays and Anxiety Persist for Cancer Patients and Survivors Months Into Pandemic
NCI Director Dr. Ned Sharpless to Join ACS CAN and Massachusetts Health, Political Leaders for Panel Discussion on COVID-19 Impact on Cancer Care &; Treatment
BOSTON – Cancer patients and survivors continue to experience potentially serious
coronavirus-related health care delays and high levels of anxiety associated with the ongoing pandemic.
On October 26, Dr. Ned Sharpless, National Cancer Institute Director, will join a cohort of Massachusetts
political leaders and health policy experts for a virtual public forum to discuss COVID-19’s impact on
cancer care and treatment.
An American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) survey found more than a quarter (26%)
of cancer patients and survivors reported delays in their cancer care because of coronavirus. When
looking at respondents in active treatment for their cancer, the number increased to nearly one in three
(32%). This included 21% of patients in active treatment who reported a delayed or cancelled check-up or
follow-up appointment specific to their cancer care, and nearly 1 in 10 (9%) whose medical facility-
administered treatment—like chemotherapy or radiation—was affected.
A driving factor behind the delays is anxiety among providers and patients alike about the risk of
contracting the virus. While most delays in care were due to logistical reasons, like closed facilities (48%),
when combined an even greater percentage of delays were due to patients who delayed or cancelled
care due to their own (31%) or their providers’ (24%) concerns about patients contracting coronavirus. In
total 64% of all respondents, and 74% of those in active treatment, said they were worried about their
ability to stay safe if COVID-19 cases continue to increase.
As part of a virtual panel discussion hosted by ACS CAN, Reigniting Research: A Call to Action to
Advance Cancer Research and Innovation, Dr. Sharpless will look at the many ways COVID-19 has
impacted cancer care and cancer research both here in Massachusetts and across the country. The
October 26 th forum will also feature a local cancer survivor who share how the pandemic has impacted
their personal cancer journey, and include remarks from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Lt.
Governor Karyn Polito.
“Seven months into this pandemic the continued delays cancer patients and survivors report are deeply
concerning,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “The ongoing spread of the virus threatens to
upend critical treatment schedules and delay preventive and diagnostic services that could result in more
late-term diagnoses and poorer cancer outcomes for years to come.”
The survey also found 45% of respondents are worried if COVID-19 cases continue to rise the effect on
the health care system will make it harder for them to access their cancer care. Already more than two-
thirds of Americans report that their scheduled cancer screenings, such as mammograms and
colonoscopies, have been delayed or skipped during the COVID-19 crisis.
According to the survey, access to comprehensive health care that covers all necessary services—during
the pandemic and beyond—is patients’ and survivors’ top health-related priority (51%), followed by the
availability of such coverage should someone’s job change (20%). Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) patients and
survivors surveyed prioritized reduced out-of-pocket costs for premiums, co-pays and deductibles and 8%
identified reducing prescription drug costs as a top priority.
“Cancer patients and survivors are acutely aware of the critical importance of comprehensive health
coverage and the need to have access to quality care even if your job changes or you’re laid off,” said
Lacasse. “Sadly, the pandemic and its associated economic fallout have made these priorities clear to
many millions more Americans. The survey underscores the imperative that elected lawmakers at every
level of government prioritize access to affordable, comprehensive care that maintains protections for
those with pre-existing conditions.”
The public is invited to join Reigniting Research: A Call to Action to Advance Cancer Research and
Innovation on October 26, 2020 where Dr. Sharpless will join Congresswoman Pressley, Lt. Governor
Polito and leaders from business, health care and life sciences to discuss current challenges and actions
needed to reignite cancer research in the face of COVID-19. To join this free virtual discussion, please
For additional information about the newly released survey data, view the full polling memo.
2020 ACS CAN Rhode Island Research Breakfast
ACS CAN is holding its 7th Annual Rhode Island Research Breakfast on November 13, 2020 virtually from 12:00-1:30pm. This year the discussion will highlight the ground breaking strides seen in cancer treatment and care in Rhode Island, featuring a panel of experts that will highlight the impacts of innovation in the health care sector. To learn more about this event visit here.