Cancer Society medical director, Dr Chris Jackson provides an update on COVID-19 and cancer treatment.
Your questions may be answered here.
Please phone 0800 226 237 if you can’t find an answer to your question.
Update: March 26 2020
Cancer Society here to help as treatments and services change and adapt
The Government has confirmed the continued provision of cancer services is essential. This means that patients who need treatment will get treatment.
“As we enter the lockdown and consider how people with lower immunity might be affected by treatment, there may be changes to what treatment is recommended, or how you have your appointments. Your treatment centre will contact you about how their services will be provided and any changes that might be needed,” says the Cancer Society’s Medical Director, Dr Chris Jackson.
The Cancer Society also want to reassure New Zealanders that they are available to support them as they work hard to keep cancer patients informed and supported in communities right around New Zealand.
“Most Cancer Society offices are now working remotely in line with government regulations. We have a fully staffed 0800 cancer information line (0800 226 237) that people can call and discuss any concerns or questions they may have,” says Lucy Elwood, CEO of the Cancer Society of New Zealand.
“We’re collating questions from our 0800 line and publishing them as FAQs on our website for people to access. We’re also feeding this information back to Government so they can understand what’s happening for cancer patients right now,” continues Elwood.
Each Cancer Society is working closely with their local DHB to find solutions to disrupted services. While some Cancer Society services are open and operating, those that aren’t are finding new and novel solutions for services affected, like accommodation and the volunteer driving service.
Changes and updates are happening swiftly and the Cancer Society is keeping its website and social media up-to date with the latest information. People with questions about their local services should contact their local Cancer Society on 0800 226 237.
“We understand that this is a very concerning time for people undergoing cancer treatments and their whānau,” says Elwood.
“Thanks to everyone who is working to prevent further spread of Covid-19 and our essential staff and volunteers who are supporting people in communities across the country,” concludes Elwood.
Update: March 25 2020
Cancer Society Medical Director Dr Chris Jackson joined RNZ to discuss what the lockdown means for those undergoing treatment.
Update: March 25 2020
The current alert for COVID-19 is now at level 3 and is moving to level 4 on Thursday.
This means everyone, except those providing essential services, should be staying in their homes.
The government consider the continued provision of cancer services is essential.
This means most cancer treatments will be proceeding as usual. Your treatment centre will contact you about how their services will be provided. We’ll keep you updated with any treatment announcements on our website
Update: March 24 2020
The Prime Ministers' advice this weekend applies to people with cancer. People on cancer treatment should stay at home as much as they can.
If you are scheduled for cancer treatment you should still go in for it.
Most outpatient appointments will change to virtual consultations (such as telephone conversations). You will be contacted with details.
If you're unwell, please contact your cancer treatment team to let them know. If you are sick, hospital is still the safest place for you. But please phone first.
People are encouraged to get the flu vaccination.
Update: March 23 2020
Information about COVID-19 is changing rapidly. If you have cancer you might be worried about how it affects you.
Talk to your treatment team about your specific risks at your next appointment
Go to the Ministry of Health website for the latest information or call our 0800 226 237 Cancer Society information line.
Update: March 19 2020