COVID-19 FAQ #23: As the pandemic continues, what does the future hold for myeloma patients?
In this episode, Dr. Brian G.M. Durie continues his coronavirus updates and gives his take on what myeloma patients can expect in the next few months.
The BOTTOM LINE:
Continue practicing coronavirus safety measures. Continue physical distancing, but make sure to stay socially connected.
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Videos in the COVID-19 Series
- FAQ #1: How can myeloma pts reduce the possibility of being exposed to the coronavirus?
- FAQ #2: What do myeloma patients need to know about COVID-19?
- FAQ #3: Do myeloma patients need to adjust their treatment?
- FAQ #4: What are some of the treatment modifications myeloma patients should consider?
- FAQ #5: What are the risk factors that could lead myeloma patients to develop serious consequences from the COVID-19 infection?
- FAQ #6: What precautions should myeloma patients take when getting their groceries?
- FAQ #7: Is it safe for myeloma patients to take walks?
- FAQ #8: Is physical distancing still recommended for myeloma patients?
- FAQ #9: Can myeloma patients avoid contracting the COVID-19 infection?
- FAQ #10: Should Myeloma patients undergo routine COVID-19 antibody testing?
- FAQ #11: Are MGUS and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) patients considered to be at higher risk for severe consequences from a COVID-19 infection?
- FAQ #12: If a myeloma patient takes Revlimid® (lenalidomide) as maintenance treatment, should this patient continue with that treatment during the pandemic?
- FAQ #13: Is it safe for myeloma patients to resume in-person doctors' visits?
- FAQ #14: Should myeloma patients undergo ASCT during the pandemic?
- FAQ #15: Is dexamethasone helpful against the COVID-19 infection?
- FAQ #16: Is it safe for myeloma patients to travel by airplane?
- FAQ #17: How high of a risk do asymptomatic carriers pose to myeloma patients?
- FAQ #18: Is Ninlaro® a safe treatment alternative for myeloma patients during the pandemic?
- FAQ #19: Should myeloma patients visit the dentist during the pandemic?
- FAQ #20: What is a bubble? And should myeloma patients exercise this practice?
- FAQ #21: How should myeloma patients conduct their follow-up appointments?
- FAQ #22: Have the safety recommendations changed for myeloma patients?
- FAQ #23: With the COVID-19 pandemic still a concern, what does the future hold for myeloma patients?
This week’s “Ask Dr. Durie” is the big ongoing question for the majority of myeloma patients, which is: “With the COVID-19 pandemic, what does the future hold?”
Well, I think unfortunately, through these upcoming winter months, the COVID-19 pandemic is going to continue to be with us. And, also unfortunately for myeloma patients, it will be a little bit of time until we know if any of the vaccines in development will work well for myeloma patients who are mostly a little bit more elderly and obviously, do have a compromised immune system.
The good news, however, is that if a COVID-19 infection does occur, we are learning a lot more about how to better manage the disease. And, for example, the myeloma treatment dexamethasone does in fact work to improve the lung problems in patients with COVID-19 infection. And so, if God forbid, someone is hospitalized with COVID-19, we are better able to get them better, and to avoid the use of a ventilator, and to get these people out of the hospital. So, this is really, really, the good news.
However, there is no doubt that in the short term the use of masks, physical distancing, and avoiding crowds and indoor spaces is really, very, very important. And that will continue to be the case through the winter months and into the new year, I’m pretty sure.
And so, BOTTOM LINE: It is still essential to try to stay safe. And with these measures, with the masks, and distancing, and the like, it is possible to stay safe. That is the good news. The only additional thing that I strongly emphasize is that, since you’re mostly staying home and no getting together with many family and friends. Social networking, in some fashion, is really, really, important to try to stay sane, and to maintain some connection, and really get by in the best possible way day to day. So, please physically distance, but socially network.
Dr. Brian G.M. Durie serves as Chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation and serves on its Scientific Advisory Board. Additionally, he is Chairman of the IMF's International Myeloma Working Group, a consortium of nearly 200 myeloma experts from around the world. Dr. Durie also leads the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative®.