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Cancer treatments continuing amidst COVID-19 pandemic

“Cancer journeys have not stopped and neither have we."
BC Cancer says cancer treatments are continuing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by PIXABAY

Cancer treatments are continuing despite the unprecedented measures implemented in the province to battle COVID-19, BC Cancer said Wednesday.

“Cancer journeys have not stopped and neither have we,” said Dr. Kim Nguyen Chi, vice president and chief medical officer at BC Cancer in a statement from the organization.

“You may see changes in the way we work, by the why we work has not changed; we are here to support patients and provide the best patient-centred care we can.”

The organization said it has taken steps to prevent the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at all of its facilities, following guidelines set out by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Both patients and staff are checked for symptoms upon arrival to the centres, according to the statement.

BC Cancer has also “implemented an enhanced cleaning regime in all of our public and clinical areas.” Steps have also been taken to reduce the number of people in its six cancer centres, such as by mailing prescription medications to patients and conducting virtual appointments.

According to BC Cancer, approximately 800 virtual visits take place across B.C. each day – about 70 per cent of all assessments performed by oncologists.

Meanwhile, many cancer screening services for non-symptomatic people have been temporarily suspended to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to the statement. This allows the health system to focus on urgent and emergent care.

However, BC Cancer says that anyone concerned about their breast, colon or cervical health should contact their primary care provider.

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