As someone living with lung cancer or caring for a loved one who is, you may have been affected more than most by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ever-changing restrictions across the country created feelings of uncertainty and even confusion. Many people were unable or unwilling to go to see their doctor due to concerns about contracting the virus, and routine check-ups may have been replaced by telehealth services.
While it is important to monitor and adhere to the latest developments and possible restrictions in your area, it is generally safe to continue to access your usual healthcare, including treatments.
It is particularly important to discuss any changes to your healthcare plan and any new or changed symptoms to ensure you are receiving the treatment, care and support you need.
Globally, figures suggest that medical care and appointments have increasingly been put on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In Australia in 2020, there was a significant drop in pathology and surgery and a 50% decrease in GP referrals to lung cancer specialists.
Lung Foundation Australia Lung Cancer Support Nurse Nicole said with the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia having started in late February, now was the time to rebook any missed medical appointments.
“Discuss any new or changed respiratory symptoms and also talk to your treating healthcare team about when you can get the COVID-19 vaccine and annual influenza vaccine,” she said.
If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out and what it means for you, we have a Q&A resource, informed by the Australian Government and frequently updated. Click here to read more.
Our Information and Support Centre team can provide guidance, information and support, and can connect you to relevant support services. Freecall 1800 654 301 or book an appointment with our Lung Cancer Support Nurse here.