Frequently Asked Questions
Cancer Patients and COVID-19
Are cancer patients more at risk for coronavirus?
Because fighting cancer can weaken your immune system, you may have a greater risk both of infection and of more serious complications. Whether you’re a current cancer patient or a cancer survivor, please speak with your care team to find out what steps are best for your unique needs.
How can I protect myself?
If you have cancer, you should be extra careful in following the CDC’s recommendations for prevention:
- Practice social distancing
- Avoid large crowds if at all possible
- Wear a facemask if you have to leave the house
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
- Don’t touch your face
- Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly
What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you’re currently being treated for cancer, get in touch with your oncologist as soon as possible. We’ll help you figure out the best course of action for your care.
If you’re not currently being treated for cancer, contact your primary care physician for help.
If you’re having difficulty breathing, please call 911.
Can I get tested for COVID-19?
Unless you have symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty breathing), have traveled in the last 14 days or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you don’t need to be tested. However, you will be tested before surgery or inpatient chemotherapy.
Should I continue my current treatment plan, including medication, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, infusion therapy or surgery?
While you may be able to continue your cancer care without changes, every patient and treatment plan is unique. You’ll need to discuss your plan with your oncologist, who will help you consider the risks and benefits of making changes or delaying treatments. Unless your oncologist has told you otherwise, please continue medications and other treatments as normal.
I think I might have cancer. Should I wait to see my doctor about getting diagnosed?
Detecting cancer early can save your life, so it’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as you believe something is wrong. In some cases where complications may put you at risk, your doctor may recommend delaying screening tests or procedures for cancer diagnosis.
I’m worried about having cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. What should I do?
Having a serious illness right now can be scary, but we’re still here for you. In addition to the services offered by your extensive care team, you also have access to a number of support groups and programs. If you can’t find what you need, your patient navigator can help.
Appointments During COVID-19
Is it still safe to come to the Cancer Center?
Our staff take every precaution to keep you safe when you visit the Cancer Center. In addition, some of your appointments can now be completed from the comfort of your home through online video visits or phone calls. Learn more about video visits and call us to schedule an appointment.
I have an appointment coming up. Should I keep it?
Before you come in for an appointment, give us a call at 800-782-2623 to see if your appointment can be completed by phone or video call. These options help keep you, our staff and other patients as safe as possible.
I need to see my doctor. Can I make a new appointment?
Absolutely, you can still schedule appointments as you would normally. While some appointments will require you to visit the Cancer Center, most can be completed by phone or video call.
Are you accepting new patients right now?
Yes, we’re accepting all new patients who’ve been seen by Loma Linda University Health providers. If you’re already receiving cancer care elsewhere, it may be best to continue that care until the COVID-19 crisis has subsided. We do, however, evaluate requests for transfer on a case-by-case basis.