Taking Care of Yourself – COVID-19 and Lung Cancer Awareness

'cancer and covid-19' written over an image of foggy autumn woods

Autumn is fully upon us and as the dark nights close in, it’s as important as ever that we have access to the support and health services that we need. In today’s Community News Blog, we’re talking about the impact of COVID-19 on health services and cancer. November is lung cancer awareness month too, so we will highlight some of the specific issues related to lung cancer.

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on cancer patients. The first lockdown over the UK summer (April – August 2020) saw 350,000 less people put onto urgent suspected cancer referral lists. Not all those referred have cancer of course, but it does raise concerns about the implications for people that do.

In a thread posted in our Lung cancer forum, 'mum diagnosed during pandemic', we can read and feel what it’s like for a family facing a cancer diagnosis this year.

"Time is precious, Covid is taking this away from us"
Hope1948, Lung cancer forum

The Online Community is a place where you can talk to others who understand.

"Many knowledgeable people in this group, all on different treatments, but always someone here for advice or a chat."
- chellesimo, Lung cancer forum

Support is well established in our Lung cancer group. The Lung Chatty Thread has been going for over two years. The thread was started by our sadly missed member Ginajsy. Gina passed away at the start of this month, her kind words and positive outlook will be dearly missed.

If it’s emotional support from people who understand that you need, the Online Community is the place to find it.

Worrying about symptoms?

This year, more than any other, we can feel symptoms and spin into worry about what they might be. We, at Macmillan, published some guidance on coronavirus for people worried they have cancer.

Remember that your GP practice is still open and operating in a safe way during the pandemic. If you have symptoms that are worrying you, give them a ring. With lung cancer in particular, early diagnosis can have a big impact on prognosis. If you have symptoms that are worrying you, contact your GP practice without delay.

The NHS has guidance on using health services during coronavirus here.

If you don’t feel your symptoms are urgent, but still would like advice from a medical professional, why not Ask a Nurse on the Online Community? One of our nurses will get back to you within 2 working days.

What if you just want to read reliable information on lung cancer? Macmillan have dedicated information about lung cancer here.

This year has been a lot to take in for all of us. People affected by cancer have felt the impact of shielding, and a more complicated health service, as much as anyone. It’s important we talk about this, to try make sure everyone has the extra support they need, to get to where they need to be.

An image of a bridge in an autumn forrest

We know that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t just affect the patient. The challenges of 2020 have made it very complex for those of you caring for someone. We have a dedicated Carers only forum on the Community where you can talk directly to others, who really understand what you’re going through.

The Online Community is always here as a source of support and we hope that the information here is useful. Stay safe and take care of each other.