Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA) and our sister lung cancer advocacy organizations are issuing regular joint statements on COVID-19 and lung cancer to help people understand what is known about the disease, find reliable sources of information, and be aware of its potential impact on vulnerable populations, including those with lung cancer.
As advocacy organizations dedicated to serving the needs of lung cancer patients, all of us are closely monitoring the latest developments related to the outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the resulting disease, COVID-19. Our community needs to have access to accurate information about Coronavirus and lung cancer.
September 7, 2020 Update on COVID-19 and Lung Cancer
We hope that all of you had a peaceful Labor Day holiday. This week marks the six-month anniversary of when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic (March 11). As of September 7, 2020, cases in the US have surpassed the 6 million mark, with over 186,000 deaths.
Nationally, new cases appear to be on a decline but pockets of high COVID activity remain. The figure below shows which states have the most new daily cases and the relative degree of community spread versus containment of the virus:
Get your flu shots!
With the arrival of September, we are strongly recommending that all eligible patients and caregivers get their annual flu shot this year! Public health experts are particularly concerned about the potential for patients to get infected with both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 this winter.
Additionally, since the symptoms for these two viruses are similar, many patients experiencing flu-like symptoms may flood already overtaxed healthcare systems. Many doctors’ offices and pharmacies already have flu shots available. It’s also important to remember that it takes approximately two weeks from receiving the shot to have adequate protection. So please make a plan to get your shot as soon as possible.
Some patients, particularly those on checkpoint inhibitors, may be concerned about whether they can take the flu shot – we always recommend asking your doctor but previous studies suggest that it is safe for patients.
We want to hear from you!
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Coronavirus and Lung Cancer Resources
- IASLC’s Guide to COVID-19 and Lung Cancer
- The National Cancer Institute has a special website for COVID-19 and emergency preparedness. Coronavirus: What People with Cancer Should Know
- We are following updates provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), check out these links.
- Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center is one of the best places to get current updates.
- Interactive map of US COVID-19 cases by state
- The One-Two Punch: Cancer And Coronavirus (an important perspective for cancer patients)
- You can find information specific to your state or city or town on your health department’s website. A list of state department of health websites can be found here.
- A list of local health department websites can be found here
- The American Medical Association is also maintaining a resource website for healthcare providers. You can find more information here
- If you cannot avoid air travel, check out this handy article on “Dirtiest Places on Airplanes: How to Avoid Germs”