Canadian Cancer Society Has Phone Line, Web Site To Answer Related Coronavirus Questions

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The Canadian Cancer Society is reminding cancer patients a toll-free helpline is available to answer questions that may arise due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The cancer research and support society offers support a number of ways for anxious patients facing an increased health risk because they may be 65 years of age and over, have compromised immune systems or have underlying medical conditions, including cancer.

"We have excellent resources available to help you cope and to provide you with credible health information. We encourage you to access these free support services and please share them with others. They can be accessed from home, by phone or computer," said Cancer Society of Canada CEO Andrea Seale in a statement.

The toll-free line is 1-888-939-3333.  Cancer patients can also access the society's online community — CancerConnection.ca — which helps people with cancer share their medical experiences and journeys and support one another.

The society is also pointing those battling cancer to consult the Public Health Agency of Canada, which offers information to patients with cancer, diabetes and other chronic conditions.

The government agency reports that nearly half of all Canadians will develop cancer during their lifetime, and around one quarter may die from the disease. Cancer remains the leading cause of death in Canada, after cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, chronic respiratory diseases and accidents.

The Cancer Society of Canada has also chosen to stop all public-facing fundraising efforts in April as the global coronavirus outbreak spreads. The pause comes as the society charged with supporting cancer research and patients wants to avoid threatening ordinary Canadians looking to avoid catching or spreading the virus.

"To minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to stop all in-person fundraising efforts for April. This includes canvassing, flower and pin sales, and other in-person events," the society said in the press release.

The charity is asking volunteers and third-party event organizers of traditional galas and other fundraising events to shift dates from April to later in the year to comply with public health recommendations.

"We will be seeking support through online fundraising and will resume in-person activities when the timing is better," Seale said.

The cancer charity said it has also modified its support programs to keep patients and its society volunteers and staff safe.

"We are taking added precautions with many of our support programs given the people we serve are at an increased risk. These precautions include increased screening and infection control measures. We are also asking our clients, staff and volunteers to follow the preventative recommendations from public health officials. We will continue to reassess daily and prepare for the possibility that we may need to change plans and programs to reflect most current recommendations," the society said on its website.

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