Articles, information and support tools

    Supporting people with cancer during COVID-19

    Publish Date:

    We know that receiving a cancer diagnosis is hard enough at any time, but the current pandemic can make this even more difficult.


    Along with our own resources, we’ve brought together experts from our valued partners, Maggie’s Cancer Support Centres, and Reframe to share their most valuable advice and guidance. Both provide essential services to people experiencing cancer and their families, and have adapted their services to ensure they can continue to connect and support – even in these unprecedented times.

    To help as many people as possible, we recorded our recent panel discussion covering how to help people with a cancer diagnosis during the coronavirus pandemic. As well as highlighting the problems cancer patients are experiencing, it includes emotional, practical, financial and medical support. Listen to Not forgotten – supporting people with cancer during COVID-19.

    All of our previous podcasts, including stress and technology, sleep, diversity and mindfulness can be listened to

    We’ve also collated useful resources from Unum, Maggie’s and Reframe below.


    Maggie’s provides practical, emotional and social support for anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis. While Maggie’s are currently unable to see people face-to-face at their Centres, they are still very much available, supporting visitors by telephone, email and video call.

    They also have vast resources available via their online community support.

    For Unum customers

    If you are a Unum policyholder, click here to find out about support from Unum.

    • Reframe – Cancer specialist, Reframe, provides clinical, practical and emotional support for individuals experiencing cancer. Services include access to a second opinion service and pathology review, plus ongoing support and guidance for treatment decisions and cancer recovery.

      Unum Critical Illness customers can access Reframe’s cancer support service by:

      Phone: 0207 965 0290

    • Help@hand from Unum offers access to a remote GP, second opinion service, and mental health and physiotherapy services for employees and their families, at no extra cost, and also includes Unum’s EAP above (Help@hand available to employees insured under Unum’s Group Income Protection policy).

    Emotional support

    Cancer can be an extremely lonely time but in the current pandemic, support networks may be limited or there may be people who aren’t in contact with anyone at all. Unum and our partners have a number of resources that can help.

    • Unum customers have access to Employee Assistance Programme services which provides support on a wide range of wellbeing topics including counselling, resilience, mindfulness and meditation.

    • Our Mental Health hub has a number of resources to help employers and employees manage mental health, including our Mental Health Pathway, which can deliver services and support aligned to your specific requirements.

    Practical and financial support

    People may have seen a change in their circumstances during an already worrying time. It can be difficult to navigate the different options available, know what you are entitled to and also have the confidence to reach out for support when you are already feeling vulnerable.

    • NHS responders: If you or someone you know has been advised to self-isolate and needs help with shopping, a prescription collection or a friendly chat, NHS Volunteer Responders are ready to help. You can find out the criteria for support and contact the service here or phone 0808 196 3646.

    • Support and advice for Carers.

    • Basic exercises classes and fitness plans are available here. For breast cancer patients, these exercise resources may also be of interest.

    • Resources and practical tips for adjusting to disruption to income: Unum Lifeworks’ COVID-19 toolkit.

    • Our Supporting furloughed workers piece has a number of resources for those who may be concerned about their finances, plus a wealth of other support tools.

    • Check out benefits support available within the Maggie’s online community. Registration is free. This blog also provides information on managing practically (including information on finances and benefits).


    Coping with cancer treatments is a challenge at the best of times, but in the wake of COVID-19, many cancer treatments are being changed or delayed, causing additional stress and anxiety for those affected and their loved ones.

    You can find up-to-date, accurate information here:

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