Cancer & Corona

Cancer & Corona: A patient’s Dilemma

cancer & corona A patient's Dilemma

If you are a cancer patient or his relative then the issue burning your mind is very legitimate. Because by now you have already realized the “best bet anyone has against the NOVEL CORONA VIRUS is his or her Immunity.  Questions like Can I get the Infection? I am undergoing cancer treatment so am I immunocompromised? Do I need to postpone the treatment etc. etc. so let’s take each one by one.

Who can get the COVID-19 Novel coronavirus infection?  

Anyone who comes in contact with this virus can get infected. Most of those who acquire will experience only mild to moderate symptoms which can be managed with home care itself however the following can get severe infections requiring hospitalization and ICU care.

  • Immunocompromised patients.
  • > 60 yrs. of age
  • Those that have other health issues like Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer, Heart ailment
  • Pt’s with lung problems, smokers etc.

Which cancer do patients need to be careful?

  1. All those patients who are undergoing treatment in form of Surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy need to be extra cautious since they are at risk due to reduced immune status.
  2. Patients who have had cancer before also need to take extra precautions since it was shown in the Chinese study {}, those who have or had cancer are at higher risk of developing more severe infections as compared to general population hence they need to be aware and be more careful.

What can I do to stay away from getting Infections?

One must follow the guidelines issued by ICMR (Indian council of medical research on precautions that one needs to take to avoid contracting the illness

  1. Hand washes with soap & water for 20 seconds at least.
    1. Frequent cleaning of common touchpoints at home like door handles, knobs, fridge, etc.
    1. Keep social distancing. Keep your face covered by a mask if you go out to buy groceries as you are at high risk of developing severe infections
    1. Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth with your hand. Keep washing frequently. Maintain good hygiene.

What can I do to keep my immunity high and up?

Your best bet against Corona Virus is to take precautions to not have it and the second-best is to keep your immunity levels high. We have made a video blog based on scientific evidence on how can you keep your immunity up. You can click on the link and go through this very important video

I am a cancer survivor, on my regular follow-ups. Should I go to the hospital for routine checkups?

Follow-ups of most cancer patients happen in gaps of around 3 to 6 months and there is no hard rule that it has to be on exactly the same dates. Hence, you can wait for a couple of weeks and find the best time after discussing with your doctor regarding the best time to visit. Remember one should avoid crowded places at the time of COVID-19 outbreak hence delaying a routine checkup for a couple of months won’t cause any harm.

I am on Chemotherapy or planned for radiotherapy can I postpone my treatment?

Delaying treatment will put you in harm’s way. The best thing is to discuss with your doctor regarding strategies to minimize having COVID-19 infection and at the same time not affecting your Cancer treatment. At MAX we tailor chemotherapy regimens or delay surgery and add chemotherapy case to case basis but all such decisions should be taken along with the treating doctor.

What else I need to know?

You need to know the following things

  • We at the MAX institute of cancer care are always with you in whatever difficult time.
    • Apart from immunity, will power of an individual is the biggest strength against fighting Corona Virus and there is no bigger will power present in anyone than a cancer patient/survivor.
    • Have faith and know it that this too shall pass.

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