Frequently Asked Questions About Treatments

How much medication should I keep on hand in case I can’t go to City of Hope or the pharmacy to pick up more?
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Public health experts are advising older adults and those with chronic health conditions like cancer to keep an extra supply of prescribed medication on hand in case you are asked to stay at home for a prolonged period of time. If concerned, please call your doctor.  Pharmacies are considered essential services and are expected to be open. Many pharmacies also provide mail order services.

Are all cancer patients at risk, or only those currently undergoing treatment?
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Patients who are undergoing active treatment for cancer are presumably at higher risk than those who are in remission. Patients who are in the first year after stem cell transplantation or CAR T cell therapy could be at higher risk for complications if they get infected with COVID-19. Those who are beyond one year after transplantation and are still considered to be immunocompromised may remain at an elevated risk for complications.

How will I be able to tell if I have COVID-19 or just the cold or flu?
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It will be difficult to distinguish one viral infection from another when experiencing a mild illness, especially with no recent travel history or contact with someone known to have COVID-19. If your symptoms worsen or you develop shortness of breath, you will need routine tests for infection (e.g., influenza) and COVID-19.

What should I do if I have symptoms?
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If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (such as high fever, a deep dry cough, fatigue and shortness of breath), call your City of Hope oncologist.

What should I do if a family member develops symptoms?
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If family members develop an illness, it is imperative that they and you wash hands frequently. Keep surfaces clean and maintain distance from them if possible (e.g., sleep in different rooms, don't eat at a common table, etc.) to minimize the risk of infection. We empathize that this can be very difficult for families with children — however, having a candid discussion with the family about recommended preventive steps could be helpful.

What if I was in contact with someone who later developed symptoms?
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Call your doctor and ask for guidance. The most common symptoms of COVID-19, which may appear two to 14 days after exposure, are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms can include body aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat. Contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

I have a question not answered here. Where can I go for help?
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If you have questions or concerns related to COVID-19, please contact your care team via our patient portal, MyCityofHope.

City of Hope also recommends the following resources:

Videos

City of Hope experts — Chief Nursing Officer Susan Brown, Ph.D., and chief of the Division of Psychology, Jeanelle Folbrecht, Ph.D. — answer questions from our patients related to COVID-19 and how it is impacting their cancer care.

Who Can Assist Me During My Appointment?

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How Can I Cope With Being Alone?

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