While the Coronavirus crisis continues to impact the world, the patients and families we serve continue to turn to our National Cancer Information Center (NCIC) for help and information amid the uncertainty.
Here is a small sampling of calls that NCIC specialists have handled recently:
- After a man was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer that metastasized to the bones, the patient’s wife contacted the Society for help. Her husband is unable to walk or care for himself due to the pain, and she wanted to know if it was safe to keep taking him to his radiation treatments. The specialist provided referrals for home care since the woman was struggling to care for her husband. The specialist also suggested scheduling a telemedicine appointment to discuss the benefits of treatment versus the risk of exposure to the virus, as well as the patient’s pain management.
- Since completing chemotherapy for lymphoma in August, a man called to find out if he was considered high risk for the Coronavirus because of his prior cancer diagnosis. The specialist shared information about people at risk for the virus. The specialist encouraged a discussion with the survivor’s care team and shared a list of questions to ask his doctor about his risk.
- A woman whose daughter has both BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations called with concerns about high risk people accessing screenings and preventative surgeries. Her daughter was scheduled for a prophylactic mastectomy that has been postponed. The specialist explained how taxing this crisis is on the medical field and shared the College of Surgeons recommendations.
- A breast cancer survivor called NCIC seeking information on emergency physical therapy for her lymphedema, as her provider’s office has closed. Because she is unable to continue her therapy, fluid has built up in her arms. She is uncomfortable and understandably frustrated. The specialist encouraged leaving a voicemail for the provider and contacting a social worker to identify any local resources that may be available.
In March, 80% of evaluated calls were related to COVID-19, and as of April 9, 70% of evaluated calls this month have been related to the pandemic.
NCIC’s specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via 1-800-227-2345. Constituents can also chat with a specialist Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. ET by clicking the Live Chat button found on
PHOTOS: Pictured in the photos are two Cancer Information Specialists at NCIC. In the top image is Emily Moore. Laura Oliver is in the smaller photo.