LSU Health New Orleans Neuro-oncologist Aaron Mammoser says now is the time for cancer patients to see their oncologists. Many patients have avoided going to the doctor during the past few months due to Covid-19 fears. “Whereas several months ago, it may have been prudent to try and stay out of hospitals, I think hospitals and clinics are doing a pretty good job of mitigating people’s risks currently,” Dr. Mammoser says.
Dr. Mammoser sees brain tumor patients at Culicchia Neurological Clinic and at LSU Health New Orleans Department of Neurosurgery in downtown New Orleans and shared that he is advising his cancer patients to come in for an appointment. In fact, he believes all cancer patients should see their oncologists now that hospitals and clinics are taking effective precautions against the virus.
Brain tumor patients should consult with their oncologists about any new symptoms such as headaches, weakness, numbness, behavior changes, difficulty speaking, difficulty understanding people, changes in balance or seizures.
According to Dr. Mammoser, delaying a diagnosis may result in neurologic symptoms that have worsened and might not be mitigated in the same way. “It may result in treatments that we otherwise would have been able to use not being as effective or maybe not even being an option,” he says.
And of course, Dr. Mammoser emphasizes that cancer patients should practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash their hands frequently and follow the guidance for limiting exposure to COVID-19.
Finally, he says, make sure that you’re taking care of your health. “Get out, get some exercise, do it responsibly. Make sure you’re getting some sunlight and stuff like that. And keep healthy, eat right. Now is a good time to get on that fitness regimen and try to improve your health,” he says.