Cancer Care Program service reintroductions
Cancer patients continue to receive treatment, including medical, radiation and gynecologic oncology, as well as hematology, including chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
All urgent and time-sensitive cancer surgeries continue. As day surgeries are being reintroduced, a committee of expert cancer surgeons will continue to work with NSHA’s provincial surgical services (Perioperative Program) and Dalhousie University’s Department of Surgery to prioritize cancer patients who are waiting for surgery. New cancer patients continue to be seen by our oncologists using telemedicine whenever possible.
All efforts continue to be made to minimize the number of patients coming to hospital. Where safe and possible, appointments are being changed to telephone or video appointments.
In some situations, where delaying treatment was determined not to impact the patient’s health and there was a greater concern about the patient possibly being exposed to COVID, a decision was made to delay treatment. Treatments for these patients will be started as soon as possible.
Patients whose health status has worsened or those who have questions or concerns should speak with their primary care provider/care team.
Our visitor restrictions have not changed:
- Cancer patients who are attending their first in-person visit with a cancer doctor, are able to bring one support person. For all other in-person visits that follow, patients are asked to attend the appointment on their own.
- Patients are able to have their support person join by phone or Facetime. Exceptions will be made for a cancer patient to bring one support person if they have unique physical, emotional or cognitive complexity which impacts their ability to attend alone.
For more information please visit http://www.nshealth.ca/cancer-care
Reintroduction of the Colon Cancer Prevention Program
- NSHA stopped mailing out home screening kits for colon cancer in March as all health care efforts were focused on responding to the COVID 19 pandemic; however, home screening kits mailed to the lab continued to be processed. Participants who test positive for trace amounts of blood in the stool are being notified by a screening nurse who will answer their questions / concerns. All others who are looking for their screening result may call our toll-free line, 1-866-599-2267, leave their name and health card number and we will return their call.
- A decision about when to resume mailing out home screening kits has not yet been made; the initial focus is on the backlog of people waiting for colonoscopy. This is the follow-up test that is recommended when someone tests positive for trace amounts of blood in the stool.
- As always, Nova Scotians who have any worrying symptoms should not be waiting for a home screening kit. They should speak with a health care provider.
Reintroduction of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (routine Pap test)
- Patients with a mild abnormality who have been recommended to have repeat Pap tests every six months and are overdue for their repeat Pap;
- Patients with a prior history of treatment of cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer who are receiving annual Paps and who are overdue for their Pap test; and
- Patients needing routine Pap screening (every three years for sexually active women aged 25 to 69 years).