#LCSM Chat Topic 4/2/2020: #COVID19 and #LungCancer

It seems that the world has turned upside down.  At the time I write this, there have been almost 550,00 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the world and over 85,000 in the US.  Here in New York City there have been over 23,000 cases and 365 deaths as of March 27th (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html).

The pandemic has placed enormous stress on our health care delivery system.  For lung cancer patients, it has affected healthcare providers’ ability to perform tests and radiologic procedures; provide timely diagnosis, staging, and care for early stage patients; and, in some cases, continue the treatment regimen for patients with stage IV disease.

Significantly, it has also interrupted the human interactions that many of us depend upon. Patients and doctors are for the most part unable to communicate face-to-face and are increasingly relying upon telemedicine to communicate when available.  The situation has left patients out of touch and likely very anxious. With everyone focusing their resources on COVID-19, will cancer patients be forgotten?

There is also justifiable concern among lung cancer patients that their underlying lung disease, side effects of treatment (such as lung scarring), or medications (such as those that suppress the immune system or predispose them to pneumonitis) will increase their risk of severe respiratory illness should they contract the virus.

With this in mind we will tackle the topic of COVID-19 and lung cancer in our April 2, 2020, #LCSM Chat at 8 pm Eastern time (5 pm Pacific).  Many questions are still not answerable, but we believe it is valuable for the lung cancer community to come together, share ideas, and support each other.  With that in mind, Dr. Brendon Stiles (@BrendonStilesMD) will moderate our discussion of the following questions:

  • T1: How is #COVID19 personally affecting your lung cancer care or care delivery?
  • T2: Are lung cancer patients more at risk for severe #COVID19?
  • T3: What are the risks of delaying treatment of lung cancer?
  • T4: What are your greatest #COVID19 concerns as a member of the lung cancer community?
  • T5: What can advocates and medical professionals do to help the lung cancer community?

Please join us, and bring your experiences and wisdom!  Remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. You can read a primer on participating in the chat here.

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