Self-distancing, hand washing and avoiding crowds are all important measures breast cancer patients should take to minimize risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. But equally important is taking care of your mental and emotional health during this time.
Social support is so important for people with breast cancer. Things such as a video call with a friend or family member or swapping emails with your support group can help minimize anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue and feelings of being alone. Remaining in touch with the people around you will help keep you feel connected, even if there are physical limitations in place.
Patients should also think in advance about getting medication, food and other necessities, so they don’t have to go out and come into contact with crowds. Meal delivery services, refills by mail and friends who can drop off items are all ways to minimize contact. If these aren’t an option, patients can think about going out when crowds are smaller – such as first thing in the morning.
And lastly, the Susan G. Komen Breast Care Helpline is open and taking calls and responding to emails from patients and their loved ones needing support. The trained staff are providing tips and coping strategies for managing emotions and concerns. The Helpline can be reached by phone at 1-877-GO-KOMEN or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.