The world may feel like it’s spinning out of control. Here at Bright Pink, we want to let you know that we are still providing you with the support and resources you need to live proactively.
Right now may be especially stressful for women at elevated risk of breast and ovarian cancer. We want to share 7 things elevated risk women should know and do during the pandemic.
1. Know your risk factors – Just like you would with breast and ovarian cancer, it’s important to understand your risk factors for COVID-19. We know that individuals from older age demographics, those with chronic illnesses like diabetes, and those with suppressed immune systems from things like cancer treatment, face more risk of severe COVID-19 complications than the average individual. If you, or someone you care for, has some of these risk factors, check in with your provider to make a prevention plan.
2. Practice good habits – Women at elevated risk should be practicing the health and cleaning habits recommended by agencies like the CDC. Remember to wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds, don’t touch your face, and try to stay home as much as possible. Practicing good social distancing (6 feet!) will help keep you and others safe.
3. Double check your plan – You may have upcoming screenings and surgeries to help you manage and reduce your cancer risk. As health systems prepare to deal with COVID-19 cases, many are choosing to cancel, delay, or move appointments online. If you haven’t already, call your provider to make the best plan for moving forward.
4. Take advantage of online/virtual medical resources – Some appointments, including ones with genetic counselors, can be moved online or over the phone. If you are hoping to set up an appointment with a genetic counselor, consider scheduling a virtual one with an agency like InformedDNA, Grey Genetics, Genome Medical, and others. For appointments with your provider, check in with your health provider and your insurance to see what options are available for you.
5. Seek support – As if living with an elevated cancer risk was not stressful enough! During this time it is especially important to seek sources of support. At Bright Pink we offer two “remote” support options: our wonderful Facebook Support Community, and one-on-one peer support from our partner Imerman Angels.
6. Call your grandparents, family, friends, and anyone feeling lonely – There are a lot of people who would love hearing from you. Consider picking up the phone to call your grandma (you can ask her more about your family health history, if you haven’t already) or Skype your nieces and nephews. Want to do even more good? Sign up to become a remote peer mentor for other women at elevated risk through Imerman Angels.
7. Keep living that #prevention life – Staying home does not mean you can’t keep up your healthy lifestyle. Get moving by checking out a home workout or going for a walk outside (if you can safely). Cook yourself a healthy meal at home. Try cooking a healthy new recipe at home. Remember to check in with your body regularly – we can help!
As always, Bright Pink is here for you. Please keep in touch with us and reach out for additional resources if you need them. Sending you Bright Pink love!