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COVID-19 and Ovarian Cancer

Last Updated January 29th 2022

Cure Our Ovarian Cancer NZ wants to acknowledge that the pandemic is particularly challenging for people living with ovarian cancer. We have collated a selection of resources which may be helpful.

Any woman living with ovarian cancer can join the Ovarian Cancer New Zealand Support Group, and Cure Our Ovarian Cancer will in the near future, be starting regular monthly live online support meetings.

Information on Ovarian Cancer Care during COVID-19

CANCER TREATMENT IS ESSENTIAL AND WILL CONTINUE AT ALL LEVELS OF THE COVID-19 PROTECTION FRAMEWORK. If you are sick, the hospital is still the safest place to be. 

The Cancer Control Agency has published information on what cancer care will look like throughout the different levels of the pandemic.

This information may change quickly and we recommend you check their website for the most up to date advice.

You can also find good information on the Hei Āhura Mōwai Maori Cancer Leadership Aotearoa website.

Key things to be aware of in red:

  • You should continue to attend all appointments, scans, treatments and take prescribed medication as usual, unless advised otherwise
  • Where possible, hospitals will be encouraging the use of virtual appointments (e.g. phone or video calls)
  • If you have an in-person appointment, you might need to take a COVID-19 test before the appointment. Your cancer centre will tell you before your appointment if this is the case.
  • If you feel uncomfortable about travelling and visiting the hospital because of your health – please let your cancer centre know prior to your appointment
  • If you’re feeling unwell, phone your cancer centre to let them know
  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your doctor or healthline to discuss being tested

This message recorded during Level 4, remains relevant.

Protecting yourself against COVID-19

Vaccination

The best protection from serious side-effects of COVID-19 is vaccination. Vaccination for Covid-19 is generally recommended for people with ovarian cancer. If you received your vaccination within 6 months of cytotoxic chemotherapy your doctor may recommend a third dose. This is given 4++ weeks after the second dose, and is different to a booster. The latest information and eligibility criteria is available on the Ministry of Health Website.

Masks

Wearing a mask can reduce the risk of transmitting and contracting (giving and getting) COVID-19.

Masks have different levels of protection but any mask, is better than no mask. For information on the different types of masks you can read this article from Stuff about the most effective types of masks, and the US Center for Disease Control.

It is important that your mask fits well. For advice on fitting masks see this Stuff article with input from NZ GP Dr Ramanathan. Single use masks may be able to be re-used if cared for appropriately – this advise may change, please always check the Ministry of Health for the most up to date information.

Online Grocery Orders

If you are on active cancer treatment you can apply for Countdown’s Priority Assistance. This will give you priority access to their online shopping service.

Other Steps

See the Cancer Control Agency website for more advice.

Coping with anxiety around possible infection

The following video has been prepared by Ovarian Cancer Australia and contains advise for dealing with anxiety around covid.

Finding support:

Cure Our Ovarian Cancer is New Zealand’s only dedicated ovarian cancer charity.

We work with people affected by ovarian cancer, health practitioners and researchers to improve ovarian cancer outcomes by targeting 3 key areas: increasing awareness; providing advocacy and support for women with ovarian cancer; and supporting ovarian cancer research.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Cure Our Ovarian Cancer NZ and we will do our best to help you.

For further information you can also visit the following organisations.

In 2022 Cure Our Ovarian Cancer will be establishing a virtual monthly live support meeting for ovarian cancer. Follow us on Facebook/Instagram or join the Ovarian Cancer New Zealand Support Group to be the first to hear when it’s up and running.