CCS actively monitoring and responding to Public Health Agency of Canada recommendations regarding coronavirus disease

06 April 2020

Toronto -

This is an unprecedented time in our history – the COVID-19 health crisis is far reaching and is having an undeniable impact on people across Canada and around the world.

More than 1 million Canadians are living with and beyond cancer. Those with cancer are among the most vulnerable in our communities right now and are at greater risk of more serious outcomes from COVID-19.

Unfortunately, cancer doesn’t stop being a life-changing and life-threatening disease in the middle of a global health crisis. Our highest priority is to support people with cancer – this means being good citizens and doing everything we can to minimize the impact and duration of this pandemic.

If you are undergoing cancer treatment

Talk to your doctor or healthcare team about your risk. They are the best source of personalized information if you have questions about your risk based on where you live and your medical history. They also will keep you updated about any possible changes to your cancer treatments. Extensive expert information is available on our website about cancer and COVID-19 and how to cope.

Update on our support system

We are continuing to actively monitor the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) regarding COVID-19. PHAC notes the risk to Canadians is high with an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians aged 65 and over, as well as people with compromised immune systems or with underlying medical conditions including cancer.

Only the Canadian Cancer Society enables a national support system that makes a real difference for people affected by cancer. Now, more than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak, our digital and phone support programs are critical to the people we serve, providing information and reducing anxiety and feelings of isolation.

We encourage you to access these free support services and please share them with others. They can all be accessed from home, by phone or computer:

If you currently use our in-person cancer support system, please know that CCS is taking added precautions, changing or suspending many of our support programs given the people we serve are at an increased risk. This includes the volunteer drivers program, lodges and wigs and breast prostheses banks. For the latest information on our in-person support programs, visit cancer.ca or call 1-888-939-3333.

Update on our fundraising activities

In order to honour commitment to social distancing, we have cancelled all in-person fundraising events and initiatives until the end of the summer. We plan to refocus our efforts on online canvassing and are encouraging our supporters to donate and receive a digital daffodil to honour a loved one, which they can share on social media.

We are asking independent third-party fundraising event organizers who are planning activities to shift to a later date and are also providing guidance on how to adapt their events to ensure they comply with public health recommendations.

There is no doubt this is an unfortunate situation as the Daffodil campaign is a beloved initiative but also a meaningful way for people to show their support for the cancer cause. CCS continues to need this support, especially in this time of increased health concern when people may be staying closer to home or dealing with feelings of anxiety or isolation. In spite of the offline Daffodil campaign not taking place for now, we are encouraging Canadians to continue to show their support by visiting cancer.ca to discover a variety of ways to donate and support our critically-needed activities.

For everyone

To minimize the risk of getting sick, we recommend all Canadians follow the recommendations of Public Health Agency of Canada, including:

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick to avoid spreading illness to others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol content if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Use cleaning products to disinfect objects and surfaces you commonly touch, such as doorknobs, countertops, phones and toys.
For more details and the latest updates on COVID-19, including travel advice, please visit Public Health Agency of Canada.

If you have questions, or need support, please call 1-888-939-3333. You can find updates, information and ways to support us at cancer.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Rosie Hales
Manager, Strategic Communications
Canadian Cancer Society

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca today.