Your health and safety is our priority
A cancer diagnosis is difficult enough to deal with, without the added complications of COVID-19.
Your safety and continued access to high-quality care are our top priorities. Our teams have taken every precaution to ensure that people seeking treatment and staff are safe in GenesisCare centres.
It’s vital that people who need treatment for cancer don’t delay this treatment.
Early diagnosis and treatment greatly improve outcomes and survivorship.
Evidence-based care: what we know now
We are continuously adapting and responding to the latest evidence and advice from international organisations such as the World Health Organisation. We also have the benefit of learnings and experience from our international colleagues through our global network. All this evidence informs how we care for people with cancer.
The latest studies have revealed key learnings about cancer and COVID-19.
While those who are immunosuppressed are likely to be more vulnerable to viral infections than the general population, the risk of COVID-19 for people with cancer may not be as high as initially expected.
Currently it’s understood the risk of COVID-19 for people living with cancer is lower than previously estimated, particularly for patients having radiotherapy as their primary treatment. The most significant risk factors remain age (>70), gender (male) and other illnesses, particularly severe respiratory disease. Learn more.
The importance of beginning or continuing your treatment
In a number of countries, studies are showing reduced numbers of people being diagnosed with and receiving treatment for cancer since COVID-19 began. In Australia, the Cancer Council reports a 37 per cent drop in breast cancer cases in Victoria during April and May. This is worrying because we know early diagnosis and treatment is key to achieving the best possible outcomes and survivorship.
These decreases are due to a number of factors. We understand you may have concerns about accessing healthcare in a safe environment. Rest assured, we are taking every precaution to ensure our centres are clean and safe for patients and team members, so you can begin or continue treatment safely. Experience from our overseas centres has also shown that even when a patient is infected with COVID-19 treatment can continue in most cases.
“These data about consequences of delayed diagnosis and treatment as a result of the pandemic are significant for Australia, especially when noting that is has been estimated that there would be approximately 150,000 cases of cancer diagnosed in 2020 in Australia, which is approximately 405 cases per day. Changed behaviour – including reduced cancer screening, reduced presentations to the GP, reduced referrals to specialist cancer services and treatment delays – are likely to impact these projections, the stage of cancer at diagnosis, and ultimately cancer outcomes in Australia.” -Cancer Australia
If you have any concerns about starting or continuing treatment for cancer at this time, please reach out to your local centre.