COVID-19 – Foundation for Women's Cancer
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COVID-19: Considerations for Gynecologic Cancer Patients

As someone who is coping with a gynecologic cancer, you may have questions about how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic might impact your treatment or follow-up appointments. Specific treatment recommendations need to be made in conjunction with your gynecologic oncologist based on the goals of your treatment, clinical status and risks versus benefits.

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing daily, with states, municipalities and institutions making changes in how they’re handling quarantine and critical health care, so check with your health care team as needed. Your gynecologic cancer care team is working hard to do the best they can for their patients given the circumstances.

In this environment of social distancing you may be hearing more about telemedicine, which is the remote delivery of health care services such as exams and consultations. Telemedicine software enables medical providers to diagnose or treat patients remotely using secure telecommunications tools like video chats, online portals, phone calls or email.

Official policies for health care institutions are rapidly changing at this time, and may vary based on geographic region, but here are a few things to keep in mind.

General considerations

  • Your doctor’s office might need to pre-screen you via telephone/patient portal for COVID-19 symptoms the day before a clinic appointment, and repeat the screening during patient check-in. This may include having your temperature taken.
  • You may be limited to having one person accompany you to an outpatient appointment; it is possible that you won’t be allowed to bring someone with you.
  • Maintain physical distancing in waiting areas; your doctor’s practice may have to schedule fewer patients at a time so there will be less people in the waiting area.
  • You may have to minimize clinic/hospital/laboratory visits in favor of telemedicine visits and home-based or local collection of labs.
  • You may have to reschedule asymptomatic surveillance visits and conduct routine postoperative visits and discussion of pathology results with telemedicine.
  • If you are in active treatment, your doctor may consider chemotherapy regimens that will avoid frequent clinic visits.
  • Second opinions may be accomplished with the use of telemedicine, as resources allow.
  • Enrollment and treatment in clinical trials may be delayed or halted based on the availability of clinical and research support at your institution.
  • If you are already in a clinical trial, verify with your research team the status of your trial.
  • If you are a candidate for surgery, the procedure may be scheduled as usual or delayed as appropriate, depending on various factors to be determined by your gynecologic oncologist in conjunction with institutional and/or government agency recommendations.

FWC thanks the following sponsors for their support of our COVID-19 resources:

 

 

 

 

 

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