All the help that cancer patients may need is here

The threat of coronavirus It is global, but it affects in a very special way groups such as cancer patients, 277,394 people in our country, according to the report "Cancer figures in Spain 2020", made by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM). Its president, Dr. Álvaro Rodríguez-Lescure, acknowledges that these patients have "an increased risk of complications, especially if they have received chemotherapy treatment or have undergone oncological surgeries in the month prior to contracting the infection."

So the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC), which is present in more than 2,000 localities, with 52 provincial offices and has the collaboration of more than 1,000 professionals and 23,000 volunteers, has reinforced its free care services, transforming face-to-face assistance into virtual, through the telephone, social networks, video consultations, web …

"The objective is improve the quality of life of the sick –Explains Isabel Martínez-Noriega, director of Marketing and Communication of the AECC–. We try to solve their doubts and, through the professionals who attend them, we see what needs they have ”. Every day, they take about 1,000 calls of people who need information or support. The free Infocáncer service (900 100 036) works 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Throughout the month of March, queries related to health information tripled, 64% of them directly related to the coronavirus," explains Patrizia Bressanello, head of Infocáncer. The most frequent refer to whether they are risk patientsWhat if they get infected, if they are going to receive their treatments or keep their cancer appointments, or if they have to go to the hospital if they have an appointment with their doctors or it is better to delay it. "At first, the callers were very scared, but we are noticing a slight decrease in that state of anguish ”, explains Bressanello.

In addition to preparing a complete coronavirus guide which is being updated, AECC professionals – psychologists, social workers and physical exercise technicians – offer sessions (at and Instagram) where they give advice on nutrition, exercise or foot carel and attend to the psychological needs of the sick and their families.

Better in company

The AECC's extensive network of volunteers has not been stopped by confinement. Almost 1,000 volunteers perform the remote support service at Infocáncer (900 100 036) or in the chat ([email protected]). Their goal is to prevent them from feeling lonely or neglected. In addition, some 150 volunteers from 20 provinces attend in person to patients who need hospital medication, go to the pharmacy or make purchases. The service is done in coordination with the oncology services of the hospitals and upon request of the patient and his oncologist.