Having lung cancer doesn’t necessarily mean that you are more susceptible to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Karen Reckamp, director of the Division of Medical Oncology at Cedars-Sinai, tells SurvivorNet. While many lung cancer patients don’t have an increased risk, most people in treatment for the disease do have compromised lung function — meaning they could have a more severe reaction if they do contract COVID-19.
“We’re concerned about the possibility of the COVID-19 developing into a pneumonia or respiratory illness that may cause more severe illness for patients who have lung cancer,” Dr. Reckamp says.
She recommends people who have lung cancer — or any type of cancer, for that matter — stick to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on hygienic and social distancing measures, and to just stay home as much as possible.
“For patients who are on treatment it becomes necessary sometimes to come into a healthcare setting,” Dr. Reckamp says. “And that really should be discussed with their specific physician to determine what the best course would be — if a visit is necessary or if treatment is necessary.”