COVID-19 and the Impact on Cancer Patient’s Mortality
There is still so much we do not know about COVID-19. Likewise, there is little known about how this disease impacts mortality for cancer patients.
A study published in The Lancet evaluated and characterized the outcomes of patients with cancer and a diagnosis of COVID-19. The study analyzed data on 928 patients (21% of which were breast cancer patients) for 30 days. At the end of the 30 day evaluation, 13% of patients had died. They found that in addition to being diagnosed with cancer and COVID-19 other independent factors also impacted mortality rates. These included increased age, being male, smoking status, number of comorbidities and active cancer (rather than remission).
The study was able to conclude race/ethnicity, obesity status, cancer type, type of cancer therapy, and recent surgery were not associated with increased rates of mortality within the group.
Although much more research is needed to fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on mortality rates in cancer patients, it is important for those with active or a previous cancer diagnosis to take every precaution recommended by the CDC and local health organizations to reduce the risk of contracting the disease.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid leaving home as much as possible and practice social distancing.
- If you must leave home, avoid other people as much as possible by practicing social distancing. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) between you and people outside your household.
- Avoid large gatherings or places where people congregate.
- Have supplies, food, and medicine delivered to your home.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others to protect other people in case you are infected, and ask others to do the same.
- Remember, do NOT place cloth face coverings on children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Author: Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo and Courtney Floyd
There is still so much we do not know about COVID-19. Likewise, there is little known about how this disease impacts mortality for cancer patients. This study provides insight.