Based on a survey of 92 cancer specialists from the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology, 85% said they observed a decrease in the number of patients they saw every day.
Over 90% said their patients hesitated to visit the hospital during the pandemic. These findings were shared in a June 27 webinar by cancer advocacy campaign Hope From Within.
Cancer patients identified limited mobility and worries of contracting COVID-19 as hurdles during the COVID-19 crisis. In response to this, Cancer Coalition Philippines, a group of cancer patient organizations, initiated Mag-C-Kilos in March, a free carpool initiative for indigent cancer patients.
Giselle Arroyo, a volunteer from breast cancer advocacy group ICanServe Foundation who managed the carpool from April to May, said, “It was borne out of the need for patients to get their treatment.”
Mag-C-Kilos helped 157 cancer patients from March until it paused operations in August due to lack of funding.