The COVID-19 pandemic inflaming the whole world. The disease is causing a drastic effect on the life of particularly cancer patients since the treatment or cares for them in the hospital is not sufficient due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. There are more than 1.6 million people in the United States diagnosed with cancer every year, and more than 20 million are cancer survivors.
Researchers, after analyzing two studies, stated that the disease progression in patients with cancer and COVID-19 was associated with an increased risk of death compared to patients who were either in remission or had no evidence of cancer. In one study, they observed 13 percent death after hospitalization of half the number of 928 cancer patients. Another study in England involved 800 patients with different kinds of cancer who had an even more increased death rate, which corresponds to 28 percent.
Patients with cancer are highly susceptible to respiratory pathogens and severe pneumonia because of immunosuppression. This condition can be provoked when chemotherapy and anti-tumor drugs are given to the patients. These drugs can stop the bone marrow from making enough white blood cells that are responsible for fighting with the infection. Also, certain types of cancers, like leukemia or lymphoma, could aggravate COVID-19 infections. Dr. Warner from Vanderbilt University said that the old cancer patients who got recovered also possess a high chance of acquiring infection because some cancer treatments can affect the lungs and immune system. Hence vigorous screening for COVID-19 infection, avoiding treatments that cause immunosuppression could help the cancer patients in preventing infection.
We know that COVID-19 affects men more than women. The data includes cancer patients of both gender, and it was noticed about 17 percent death in males and 9 percent in females. Excluding all these crises, now the use of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, is under discussion. Some studies showed that the usage of hydroxychloroquine along with azithromycin to treat the COVID-19 infection could cause a three times greater risk of death. But Warner noted that this medication alone was not a significant risk factor for death as many have to be considered. Much research has been going on to prevent the spread of infection further and also to tackle the virus.
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Source: NBC News