SPRINGFIELD — The COVID-19 pandemic may present additional difficulties for cancer patients undergoing active treatment or surveillance. To help address the situation, Dr. James Frank, medical director of Surgical Oncology at Mercy Medical Center, is promoting a new website developed by Boston Cancer Support and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
The website, www.bostoncancersupport.org/covid-19-cancer, is designed to provide information about cancer-support resources and community-outreach programs throughout Massachusetts. It can also be accessed through the DPH website, www.mass.gov/comprehensive-cancer-prevention-and-control-network.
Frank serves as the Massachusetts chairman of the Commission on Cancer for the American College of Surgeons and is a member for DPH’s Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Network and its Survivorship Work Group. The work group is comprised of volunteers who are cancer experts, cancer survivors, and other allied professionals, including representation by the American Cancer Society, Livestrong, Boston Cancer Support, and the Healing Garden.
“The DPH survivorship work group has partnered with Boston Cancer Support to create a clearinghouse of resources for cancer patients, survivors, and their families,” Frank said. “This provides them with access to information about local, state, and national resources that may assist them as they cope with the myriad challenges that result from a cancer diagnosis in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The website provides information about programs and services throughout the state, region, and individual cities and towns. Cancer patients, their family members, and healthcare providers can access information about a variety of topics, including treatment locations, emotional health, physical fitness, support groups, clinical trials, financial-aid opportunities, free or subsidized lodging, and free transportation to treatments.