Living at the crossroads of COVID-19 and cancer

Throughout the pandemic, we asked people affected by cancer how COVID-19 impacted their cancer experience. This report summarizes what we heard.

We’ve listened, we’ve heard and we’re acting 

Throughout the pandemic, we have actively engaged Canadians with cancer and their caregivers to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their cancer experience in Canada.

We deployed 5 nationwide surveys over the past 2 years, drew insights and trends from our support programs and conducted focus groups and roundtables, effectively engaging healthcare and policy experts, healthcare providers and thousands of people with cancer and caregivers. 

We’re pleased to share our new report, Living at the Crossroads of COVID-19 and Cancer, which presents themes of what we heard and guidance on how we can make cancer care better.

How we can make cancer care better

Based on data collected from those who have been impacted by COVID-19 during their cancer experience, the report highlights the changes to the healthcare system that people with cancer, caregivers & healthcare providers want to see:

  • Ensure representation of diverse voices when making healthcare delivery decisions
  • Prioritize organized cancer screening programs. Make them accessible for all, especially underserved communities 
  • Guarantee access to quality and timely screening and diagnostic services 
  • Clear any remaining backlogs   
  • Boost health human resources, like nurses, technologists and social workers 
  • Explore the role of healthcare navigators to guide people through their cancer experience 
  • Support the transition from the cancer care system into recovery and survivorship 
  • Establish policies that recognize the importance of caregivers 
  • Make psychosocial supports available 
  • Guarantee access to timely and appropriate palliative and end-of-life care


A card with the words “get better” on the cover is sitting on a glass table next to a vase of daffodils. Behind it is a yellow backdrop, and next to it is a microphone.

“Get better cards from” the Canadian Cancer Society logo appears.


A female adult with her daughter, is in front of the microphone, reading from a card.


Because of Covid, I had surgeries shifted twice, four to five months at a time.


We need to get better at preventing delays to healthcare. 

Words on screen:

Help cancer care get better.

Be a Voice for Change. 

(CCS logo)

Share your story

We continue to bring the experiences of people facing cancer to those with the power to create change. The more people that come together, the more change we can make. Share your story to help us call on policy and decision makers to make cancer care better.

Be a Voice for Change

Join our network of advocates who are committed to preventing cancer and improving the lives of people living with cancer and their caregivers through government action.