Frequently Asked COVID-19 Questions for People with Lung Cancer

We received these questions from the lung cancer community; members of our Scientific Advisory Board have answered them.

Note: The responses have been edited to make them as broadly applicable as possible and are for informational use only―they are not meant to substitute for medical advice. If you have specific questions about your own situation, please consult your treating physician.

Topics:

GENERAL INFORMATION    |    SURGERY    |    INFUSION TREATMENTS    |    RADIATION THERAPY    |    CLINICAL TRIALS


General Information on COVID-19

How is COVID-19 contracted?

Are there treatments for COVID-19?

How long is it between when a person is exposed to the virus and when they start showing symptoms?

Are people with lung cancer more likely to get COVID-19?

How can we (lung cancer patients) protect ourselves?

Should I use homemade masks to protect myself?

Do I continue to social distance?

Do I leave my city to go to someplace safe—such as a rural area?

If I am in active treatment, am I more susceptible to contracting the disease?

How can patients maintain lung health while at home?

Should I still get a flu shot, or is it too late?

Should we try to get what meds we can and have some extra on hand?

What are your thoughts on wearing disposable gloves while traveling?

Should we be concerned about drug shortages?

I am currently on a TKI for my lung cancer and am relatively young and healthy. I never had radiation therapy or surgery. Should I be worried?

If I have had immunotherapy or am currently undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer, should I be worried?


Surgery

I have had lung surgery for my cancer. Will the virus affect me differently now?

Should patients who are scheduled for lung surgery delay it?

How do you define what surgeries are elective now?

Should patients who have already undergone surgery and are supposed to go on adjuvant chemotherapy wait before going to an infusion center?

Should patients who have already undergone surgery and are supposed to get radiation therapy wait before having it?


Infusion Treatments (Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy)

I am in the middle of my infusion therapy. Should I stop or delay my treatments now?

A patient who travels to the city for her infusions wonders whether she can take her infusion at her local center. If so, should she be worried about changing her place of infusion?

Are patients on immunotherapy at higher risk of getting a more severe form of COVID-19?


Radiation Therapy

I was supposed to start SRS for my brain metastases. Can it wait?

I am in the middle of my radiation therapy. If I stop now, what will happen?

I finished radiation therapy last year. Are my lungs now healthy enough to withstand COVID-19?

I am a small cell lung cancer patient on a clinical trial of radiation and immunotherapy. Should I stop the trial? Will my cancer grow if I do?


Clinical Trials

I am on a clinical trial and need to travel to another city. Will this be allowed?

What do you tell your patients who are on clinical trials right now or who are considering a clinical trial in the era of COVID-19?

I am in a phase III trial of a targeted therapy. Can I get my blood drawn or have scans done at my local cancer center so I don't have to travel?

If a patient with stage IV lung cancer was considering a clinical trial before COVID-19 delayed the start of the trial, should the patient wait for the clinical trial or start some other treatment, like chemotherapy?


Our experts recommend using the following websites for updates and information:

print