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How Does Breast Cancer Affect COVID-19 Risks?

According to the World Health Organization, Coronavirus related death rate for cancer patients is 7.6%. Breast cancer patients currently under care or those who recently completed their treatment face a higher risk of contracting Sars-Cov-2. Below are some ways which increase the risk of breast cancer for patients.

Reasons for Increased Risk

Covid-19 symptoms in breast cancer patients are more severe. This is because the patients have a weakened immune system. Chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapies undermine an individual’s immune system, making the person more vulnerable to Sars-CoV-2.

Women whose breast cancer has reached the lungs face severe symptoms as Coronavirus is a respiratory disease.People who have completed their therapies recently, and those who are still undergoing treatment, the risk is high. This is because immunity improves a few months after the therapies.

Delay in screening and elective surgeries hamper the healing process in patients. Most oncologists canceled elective surgery appointments when Covid-19 hit. This is because healthcare providers interact with Covid-19 patients every day, so any interaction with a breast cancer patient heightens the danger of contracting Coronavirus.

Breast cancer patients must seek treatment continuously, thus, exposing them to higher risks of contracting Covid-19. The risk is especially valid whether the patients visit a hospital that treats Covid-19 patients or not.

There have been interruptions in the distribution of raw materials and medicine for breast cancer patients. Due to the disruption, the patients always need to find a way to stock up even if it means getting extra medicine every time they go for refills.

To reduce the spread of Coronavirus, people who take care of breast cancer patients have had to stay in isolation. Lack of consistent and quality care deteriorates the health of the patients.

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To stay safe, keep the following in mind:

  • Wash your hands with warm soapy water frequently
  • Please keep away from the hospital unless it is necessary
  • If you are going an appointment, alert the provider so they can be ready for you
  • Stay home and cut down interactions with other people whenever possible
  • Contact a doctor if you have a dry cough, difficulty in breathing, or fever

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