Express Healthcare interviews Dr.Nishant Agrawal, (Director, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, University of Chicago Medicine) on the risks that cancer patients during COVID-19 and how this can be prevented during treatment.

COVID-19 has touched us all and threatened every citizen on Earth, including people fighting cancer. People with active cancer or patients currently undergoing cancer therapy may have a different risk profile: both related to contracting COVID-19 and risk of developing complications from corona virus disease. Cancer patients are at risk of being immunocompromised depending on the type of cancer they have, treatment modality they are undergoing, age, other associated medical co-morbidities, and other health-related factors.

Risk of contracting Coronavirus

There are many unique concerns related to patients with cancer. As with the general population, cancer patients also need to practice social distancing. However, during this time cancer patients may need to actively seek care in ambulatory or inpatient settings, especially if their treatment has already started. In turn, cancer patients may be at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 by visiting health care facilities, although efforts are being made to reduce this risk by following standards such as appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing.

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