Poll: One in four people with cancer is worried about their treatment and future


Only one in five cancer patients received information from their doctor about COVID-19. For most patients (60%), who have spoken to their doctor about the new virus, the information received is absolutely insufficient. This is shown by the results of a non-representative survey, organized by the Association of patients with oncological diseases, conducted online in the period 8 April – 15 April 2020 g., featuring 1710 patients (320 men and 1390 women, 596 of the participants are on active treatment, but 1114 – on dispensary observation). Almost half of the survey participants live in a regional town, and every fourth - in the capital. 70% make their own decisions about their treatment, and the rest rely on their husbands or children for this. Barely 18,4% are cancer patients living alone, participated in the survey.

Patients are informed about COVID mainly from television (62%) and from the Internet (36,8%). In the emergency situation, almost half of the patients with oncological diseases visit the clinic, in which they are treated, and one in three prefers to contact their doctor by phone.

The poll shows more, that 70% expect to have contact with their doctor, when symptoms are present, and for every sixth it is important to discuss the side effects of the applied therapy. Only 22% expect the state of emergency and restrictions to prevent their treatment. The lack of money, transport and attendant, as well as the difficult passage through the checkpoints are among the difficulties, which patients with oncological diseases encounter in the current situation.

Close 14% of the survey participants cannot buy food and medicine themselves in the conditions of isolation, 10% cannot renew their medication protocols, but 6,7% do not have access to a prescription for their medication. The fear of infection with SARS-CoV-2 is present in 60% by the respondents, one in three is worried about how his treatment will continue. 14% of oncology patients worry about their work, they assume as much, that they will not be able to pay their loans.

One in four have concerns, related to the payment of household bills. The lack of money and contact with the doctor is a prerequisite for preventing the planned treatment for 25% by the participants. Barely 12% of patients are being treated abroad and are worried, that their treatment will be compromised.

Half of cancer patients feel frightened by the situation. 60% of participants rely on families, with whom they discuss their feelings. They barely talk about their concerns with the attending physician 1,8%, and one in five do not discuss their concerns with anyone. Asked what their needs are in the created situation, massively patients indicate, that they miss communication and walks in the fresh air.


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