How did COVID-19 impact on cancer patients and their carers?

Jul 7 2020

Kate Booth speaks with ABC Newcastle's Kia Handley here

For both people with a cancer diagnosis and their carers it's been a particularly challenging time. Kate Booth is a research assistant at HMRI and PhD candidate who is working with Professor Christine Paul and her team to understand how COVID-19 has impacted people who are already undergoing a difficult and tumultuous time. 

What has COVID-19 meant for treatment, healthcare and financial support for people with cancer and their carers during this time? That's what Kate and the team aim to find out.

How did lockdown affect them? What about people in remote and regional areas? What about those who live alone? There are so many questions to be explored in this new research project calling for people with a cancer diagnosis, or those who care for someone with cancer, to complete two short surveys on the subject.

People caring for someone with cancer often undergo a whole different set of challenges. Caregivers are often the patient's primary support person, while also trying to process their loved one’s cancer diagnosis and prognosis themselves. Although many caregivers feel privileged to be able to care for a loved, one, they also experience physical, financial, social, and emotional burden.

COVID-19 has changed how we work, how we travel, how we shop, how we educate our children, and how we access healthcare. How are caregivers managing with these additional challenges? How can we better support them?

Kate chats about why this time has been particularly challenging for those experiencing cancer, and what we might need to do moving forward. They're currently speaking with people in this situation to work out what needs to happen next.

Kate Booth speaks with ABC Newcastle's Kia Handley here