CancerNetwork® sat down with Alicia Morgans MD, MPH, at the 2021 European Society for Medical Oncology to talk about the important role that patient support networks play for those with cancer and the challenge of separating patients from their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the 2021 European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, CancerNetwork® spoke with Alicia Morgans, MD, MPH, director of the survivorship program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, about the importance of patient support networks for those with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Morgans highlighted the challenges in separating patients from their loved ones when entering the clinic room, as well as the strength and resilient she saw from her patients during the pandemic.
The pandemic has truly turned the whole world upside down. Whether you work in cancer care, whether you’re a parent, whether you have a job that you now can’t go to regularly, all of us have experienced and been touched by the events from the last year.
Specifically, when it comes to cancer care, I think that it has shown me how incredibly important patient support networks are to them. When we had periods of time in our clinics where we couldn’t let family members come into the clinic room and patients had to be on their own, it was truly heart wrenching. I’m glad that we as healthcare providers are able now to be vaccinated [and can] let family members support the patients that they care about. I think that I never want to learn the lesson again where I have to separate people from their support. I’m just so amazed at how much the people around [those] with cancer do to get people through these experiences. I’m just touched, and I’m happy that we hopefully will not have to do that again.