Coronavirus and Cancer Screening and Treatment: Expert Insight for Patients

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Fight CRC understands that our community may have many questions about how the coronavirus will affect their screening and treatment plans, from surgery to chemotherapy/immunotherapy, clinical trials, and maintenance therapy. We spent some time with experts in the field discussing how COVID-19 affects treatment to better understand the disruptions and advice for our patient community. 

How does Coronavirus (COVID-19) affect colorectal cancer screening and gastroenterology appointments? 

Dr. Jen Kolb, a Gastroenterology fellow at the University of Colorado Hospital discusses how COVID-19 is impacting colorectal cancer screenings and colonoscopy procedures. 

Learn more about how COVID-19 is affecting colorectal cancer screenings and colonoscopies

What about surgery during Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If you’re concerned about how COVID-19 will affect any surgical procedures you may have scheduled (or will be scheduling in the near future) as it relates to colon or rectal cancer, Dr. Ryan Fields, MD Professor of Surgery, Chief of the Section of Surgical Oncology, Division of General Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine unpacks what patients need to know.

What should I do if I’m on a clinical trial or looking to enroll in one?

Unsurprisingly, there have been many changes to clinical trials, which can affect many colon and rectal cancer patients. Fight CRC spoke to Dr. Scott Kopetz, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, at MD Anderson to provide his thoughts on what patients on clinical trials can expect in the coming weeks and months, and how it will ultimately affect the course of treatments. 

Should I continue my cancer treatment regimen? (i.e. chemotherapy, immunotherapy, maintenance therapy)

On April 6th, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) released Principles for Management of Colorectal Cancer Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Dr. Al Benson, a GI Medical Oncologist at Northwestern University, a Fight CRC Medical Advisory Board Member, and chair of the NCCN CRC panel breaks down these guidelines and what patients should do during the coronavirus pandemic if they are on chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or other treatments.

Remember, if you have any concerning symptoms of COVID-19, be sure to call your primary care doctors to get advice on testing. For day to day recommendations, you can refer to the CDC website for guidance. 

If you missed our Facebook Live Q&A with Dr. Richard Goldberg and Fight CRC’s Scott Wilson, be sure to check it below.

Fight CRC’s Scott Wilson talks with Dr. Richard Goldberg about what colorectal cancer patients need to know during COVID-19

How can I expect treatment to look in the future?

Dr. Dustin Deming, a faculty member in the Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology, and Palliative Care at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, answers relevant questions patients may have, and what to expect in the coming months.

Get more information on Colorectal Cancer and COVID-19

6 thoughts on “Coronavirus and Cancer Screening and Treatment: Expert Insight for Patients

  1. Logic tells me that “no one knows if chemo treatments will react negatively with kemo”. Does anyone know for certain if it’s safe or NOT to have recently gone thru kemo ; then followed by the COVID shot?

    1. Hi, Kathy! Please check out our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ for answers about getting the vaccine during/after treatment. https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/blog/covid-19-faq/

      The answer from oncologist Dr. Lieu is, “unless undergoing a stem cell transplant, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommend receiving the vaccine…It’s safe to receive the vaccine in active treatment, in maintenance therapy, and after completing treatment.”

    1. Hi, Juliet! Please ask your doctor about whether or not you should continue treatment if you have COVID-19.

  2. UH OH, I FORGOT TO SAY…I WENT TO DR. ROBERT LEIBOWITZ FOR 20 YEARS AT COMPASSIONATE ONCOLOGY, 2080 CENTURY PARK EAST IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA FOR MY PROSTATE CANCER. I TRIED MD ANDERSEN AND OTHERS,..BUT THEY ALL GAVE ME 3-5 YEARS TO SURVIVE….DR. BOB PUT ME ON HIS FAMOUS ‘TRIPLE ANDROGEN BLOCKADE’ AND OVER TIME SOME TAXOTERE, EMCYT ETC…I RAN SHORT OF MONEY AND AM NOW WITH TEXAS ONCOLOGY AND DR. MARIA ALOBA..SHE FOLLOWS DR. BOB’S PROTOCOL VERY WELL..THAN YOU AND HAVE A HAPPY SEMPER FI 1954-56

  3. I AM AGE 86 WITH 25 YEARS OF CHEMO AND HORMONES FOR AGGRESSIVE PROSTATE CANCER..TWO TUMORS…MARCH 1996…GLEASON SCORES 10 AND 9..MANY MAJOR SIDE EFFECTS…ONJ, IBD, STAGE 3 KIDNEY DISEASE, HEART DISEASE, COPD, OSTEO/ARTHRITIS LAST YEAR…I HAVE REGISTERED THREE TIMES IN EL PASO, TEXAS FOR THE COVID VACCINE…NOT A WORD IN NEAR 2 MONTHS?? LIKE WHAT?????? 915 226 8147 BIRTHDAY: OCTOBER 2ND.,1934.

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