We aim to make the Health Care Roundup a concise, one-stop summary of what you need to know as we continue working together to make cancer care better for everyone. Your feedback is always welcome to make our content more useful to you. Please send comments to feedback@canceradvocacy.org.

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If you have any cancer-related questions or concerns about COVID-19, please reach us at www.canceradvocacy.org/contact.


NCCS Updates

Register for First-Ever Virtual CPAT Symposium

Cancer survivors’ stories can shape how decision makers provide quality cancer care to millions of cancer survivors. That is why NCCS invites cancer advocates from around the country to register for the annual Cancer Policy and Advocacy Team (CPAT) Symposium virtually, on June 15-16 and June 22-23 from noon to 3 p.m. ET, including a virtual Hill Week June 22-26.

We will host three different tracks so attendees choose their own Symposium experience—whether they are a brand-new advocate or a seasoned Symposium attendee. Attendees will also:

  • Hear from health care and policy experts about managing stress and anxiety, how to “return” to work, and the future of cancer care;
  • Participate in a roundtable on what survivorship means for people with metastatic cancer and help shape the conversation around metastatic survivorship;
  • Hear from Washington insiders about health policy during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Prepare for and attend meetings with Congressional staff through the virtual Hill Week June 22-26.

Register for this event today »

We encourage you to invite others to register. The Symposium is exclusive to CPAT members, which is free and easy to join!

NCCS Project Aims to Gain Cancer Survivors’ Insights on Telehealth

This month, NCCS launched a project to identify and share cancer patients’ and survivors’ perspectives on telehealth—the use of telephone or video conferencing for medical appointments—in cancer care. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic and rapid increases in the adoption of telehealth, and NCCS wants to ensure patient voices are heard.

Learn More »

2020 Elevate Ambassadors Selected to Improve Survivorship Care in Local Communities

NCCS is proud to announce the selection of 14 patient advocate leaders to serve as Ambassadors for the 2020 Elevating Survivorship program. Elevate Ambassadors will receive support, mentorship, networking opportunities, and virtual training from NCCS to develop and execute a plan of action to improve survivorship care in their community—whether for a hospital, oncology practice, community-based organization, or virtual community.

Learn More »

Policy Updates

Senate Nixes Fourth COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Last week the House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or the HEROES Act, the fourth COVID-19 stimulus package. However, Senate leadership announced it was dead on arrival and that their version “would look nothing like the House’s Democrat bill.” NCCS has been working alongside other patient groups to meet with Congressional offices to share patient priorities during the pandemic.

We were pleased to see some of these priorities were included in the House bill, including a special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), funding for state Medicaid programs, expansion of paid leave provisions, and assistance for people who lost employer-based coverage. We will monitor this bill as it moves through Congress and update you on provisions that will impact patients and their access to health services.

Otis Brawley, MD on Paid Family Medical Leave

Yesterday, friend of NCCS and Bloomberg distinguished professor, Dr. Otis Brawley, provided his expertise in a virtual Congressional briefing on paid family medical leave. In last month’s Health Care Roundup we included a legislative alert so that advocates could take action on this important issue and let Congress know cancer patients need to be included in paid leave.


Paid Sick Leave Could Be a Deciding Issue in November's Key House Races


This survey finds paid sick leave as a top issue for voters. “There are restaurant workers, there are people who work for fortune 500's who don't have a paid sick day, there's home health workers,” says Paid Leave for All Action Director Dawn Huckelbridge. “If we're not giving people these protections, we’re going to be forcing them to choose between their life and their livelihoods.”

Read More »


Cancer Convos PodcastNCCS Podcast: "Cancer Convos." In the latest episode of “Cancer Convos,” Senior Policy Manager Lindsay Houff talks to Jamie Ledezma, an attorney who specializes in cancer rights. Jamie discusses how health policy is changing at a rapid pace, at both the state and federal levels.

A cancer survivor herself, Jamie also shares what it’s like as a patient navigating the health care system during COVID-19 and provides advice for fellow patients who are looking for answers. During the conversation, Jamie mentioned a health insurance resource page from Triage Cancer, an organization that focuses on cancer patient rights and advocacy.

Listen and Subscribe to Updates »
Listen to the Episode on SoundCloud »

Bipartisan Health Experts Send Letter to Congress

In an NPR interview, Scott Gottlieb, former head of the FDA, and Andy Slavitt, who led the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid under Obama, talk about their plan to reopen the U.S.


Major Boston Hospital Finds Dramatic Drop in Stroke, Heart Attack, and Cancer Patients During Coronavirus Pandemic

The Boston Globe

Medical visits for serious conditions such as cancer, heart attacks, and strokes have dropped by as much as 65 percent during the pandemic for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The number of patients referred to the hospital’s breast cancer and hematologic cancer clinics in April fell 65 percent and 61 percent, respectively, compared with before the pandemic. The group also discovered declines of 33 percent in heart attack patients and 58 percent in stroke patients hospitalized in March and April.

NCI Director, Dr. Sharpless tweeted a response to the article saying: “Cancer diagnoses are sharply down during the pandemic, but cancer incidence is not. This suggests we’ll see delayed diagnosis and upstaging, which could mean worse outcome. Let’s all agree to not let that happen.”

Read More »

For Cancer Patients, Anguish Grows Over Deferred Surgery as Risk Rises
National Public Radio (NPR)

Breast cancer survivor, Silver, was told her mastectomy would require another procedure to cover her wound by her oncologist. The additional surgery was considered cosmetic, according to recent standards, and therefore put her surgery on hold.

Yet, Silver felt this “nonessential” surgery was important.

"It's not necessarily considered a medical emergency by them, even though it's, like, the entire world to me," Silver says.

Read More »

Special Report Provides Guidance to Oncology Practices on Resuming Cancer Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

Earlier this week ASCO released the ASCO Special Report: A Guide to Cancer Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which provides detailed guidance to oncology practices on the immediate and short-term steps that could be taken to help protect the safety of patients and healthcare staff before resuming more routine care operations during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Read More »

More COVID-19 Information

NCCS Joins 28 Patient and Consumer Groups Urging the Administration to Implement a Special Enrollment Period for Healthcare.gov

NCCS Joins 28 Patient and Consumer Groups Urging the Administration to Implement a Special Enrollment Period for Healthcare.gov

The Trump administration decided against opening a special enrollment period for Healthcare.gov, which would allow uninsured individuals to purchase plans outside of the open enrollment period. NCCS joined with 28 patient and consumer groups to urge the administration to implement a special enrollment period as the nation fights to protect ...
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Health Care Roundup: COVID-19 Edition

Health Care Roundup: COVID-19 Edition

New Resource Available: Frequently Asked Questions and Concerns from Cancer Survivors about COVID-19 — NCCS has heard from many survivors who feel uniquely vulnerable due to their history of cancer treatments. And we have heard from people currently in treatment, who are worried about delays in care and navigating [...] ...
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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

NCCS Addresses COVID-19 & Cancer Survivorship

In these challenging times, we at NCCS continue to work for you, advocating for and supporting cancer survivors, caregivers, advocates, and providers. We have heard from many survivors who feel uniquely vulnerable due to their history of cancer treatments. And we have heard from people currently in treatment, who are ...
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