Rush Limbaugh Will Take Time Off to Fight Cancer
- The radio host recently announced that he might need to take days off in the near future as he continues to battle metastatic lung cancer.
- The COVID-19 pandemic presents a higher danger if you’re facing lung cancer. It’s critical to follow all public health guidelines to reduce your risk of infection.
- Fans across the nation are sending holiday greetings to Rush; the holidays are often a challenging time for people facing cancer, but there are ways to make the season bright.
Limbaugh was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, meaning that the cancer had spread to other parts of his body, in February. He’s been fortunate to travel to receive targeted therapies because of his status, in his own words, as a “powerful, influential member of the media.” Most people battling lung cancer have been unable to travel for treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite his polarizing political views, millions of people have extended their thoughts and prayers to Rush during his fight, and as Christmas nears, the radio host is being flooded with holiday wishes for health and happiness.
I think you are loved and appreciated more than you even realize. So many prayers being lifted up for you! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas @RealRLimbaugh and a healthier new year! 🙏
— Mama K (@hummingalong12) December 17, 2020
You are a huge part of our lives we are praying…… GOD BLESS AND BLESSED CHRISTMAS♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
— Debbie A. Louise (@AmeliasTreasure) December 19, 2020
Lung Cancer and COVID-19
Nearly 230,000 Americans like Rush are diagnosed with lung cancer every year. It is the second most common form and leading cause of cancer death in America.
As if the fight against lung cancer wasn’t hard enough, the COVID-19 pandemic presents an even greater danger for people fighting the disease.
For people like Rush fighting metastatic lung cancer, immunotherapy, which is the main form of treatment for this stage, could leave you at a higher risk for serious complications from the virus.
“Almost all stage four patients now who don’t have targeted mutations or rearrangements are on a path where they’re going to see immunotherapy during their treatment course,” Dr. Brendon Stiles, a thoracic surgeon at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview. “And we really don’t know what the interaction of that is going to be with the virus. I think you could probably argue both ways that it may completely throw your immune system out of whack and predispose you to infection.”
Ultimately, people battling lung cancer should be sure to prioritize their own safety above all else. It’s imperative to follow CDC guidelines, follow social distancing rules, and minimize your contact with people outside your own household. While this may be frustrating and difficult, it’s a necessary investment in your own health during these unprecedented times.
“At this time, for patients with lung cancer or any type of cancer, still, the best thing we can do is to keep to ourselves and keep to the small groups of people that we are living with, to frequently wash our hands, clean off surfaces in the home, and minimize the amount of time that you are out of the home and interacting,” Dr. Karen Reckamp, Director of the Division of Medical Oncology at Cedars-Sinai, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview. “For patients who are on treatment, it becomes necessary sometimes to come into a health care setting.”
Cancer During the Holidays
For many survivors and people currently fighting cancer, the magic of the holidays can be complicated by the difficult realities of cancer.
“People are uncomfortable around cancer, and there’s a lot of fear, ignorance, misunderstandings and myths around it,” breast cancer survivor Diane Mapes previously told SurvivorNet.
For people whose fight is still ongoing, staying positive and focusing on your healing can be a godsend during the sometimes uncomfortable or isolating holiday experiences.
“My advice to others is to stay focused,” Karen Ballou, a Hogkin lymphoma survivor, previously told SurvivorNet. “Stay focused … think about one thing in your life or two things in your life that you can see when you’re well, that you want to go after. And you want to follow through with. That’s what got me through the holidays.”