Cancer Survivors More Prone to Develop COVID-19 Infection Despite Anticipations

Cancer survivors were far more likely to practice behaviors to stop COVID-19 disease in comparison with other adults but were more likely to grow the disease despite taking these precautions, according to a study presented on July 22 in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) COVID-19 and Cancer Research Meeting.

From the study, researchers in the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill looked at the behavior of 4,428 U.S. adults, for example, cancer survivors, during a week in late April and 1 week in early May through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research demonstrated that the cancer survivors were more likely than other adults to practice social distancing, put on a face mask, and avoid busy places.

The analysis also revealed that 44% of cancer survivors said they pinpointed physicians’ appointments, implying that patients aren’t going to the physician’s office or hospital only because they fear COVID-19 disease, states that the presenting author, Jessica Islam, Ph.D., a cancer epidemiologist at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Despite taking these measures to prevent disease, nevertheless, cancer survivors were more likely to report COVID-19-related symptoms compared to other adults from the research. The researchers didn’t state why cancer survivors may be more vulnerable to this virus.

Missed Medical Care: A Casualty of COVID-19

The cancellation of physicians’ appointments developed to give continuity of care is of concern,” says Dr. Islam.

The analysis, she states, “reflects the possible miscommunication involving Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, which advocate avoiding visiting the hospital and the practice to get nonessential visits and the way the public could perceive these recommendations.”

Healthcare professionals need to endeavor to increase communication with patients to help them ascertain which health care appointments are important to stick to and which can be reasonably postponed,” she states.

“We, as doctors and suppliers as well as public health professionals can enhance our communication,” Islam said.

Over 17 million Americans are cancer survivors, based on government figures cited by editors at the April 2020 dilemma of their Journal of Cancer Survivorship, along with two-thirds of cancer spouses have been age 65 or older. There’s still little other study describing the effect of the outbreak on cancer survivors, but the article mentioned.