BMJ Says COVID-19 Causing Drastic Effects on Cancer Patients

COVID-19 has become a worldwide threat as it has been on a rampage throughout after becoming a pandemic in less than three months, claiming lives left, right and center. While the news about this outbreak is changing rapidly, knowing some basic precautionary measures and safety recommendations about what can and cannot be done to help protect each other from getting sick, can be very motivating.

The deadly virus can attack people at any age but a part of our population lies under a group of middle-aged and older adults is at more risk to catch the disease. Especially, when the older people had other underlying conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, weakened immunity, obesity, diabetes mellitus or hypertension, liver disease, asthma and cancer.

The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 vary among people as some people have no symptoms at all but still test positive whereas some people become severely ill as at some point they need a ventilator to breathe. People with cancer have a high risk of catching the novel disease specifically in two of the most prominent countries that have been attacked badly by the coronavirus, the Unites States (US) and United Kingdom (UK), says a recent paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Cancer patients are more prone to get the disease because of their weak immune system that controls their body’s defense systems and the novel coronavirus can easily attack a person who has weak immunity. So, cancer patients should take extra care if they are getting any kind of treatment such as chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant because their immune systems can be severely weakened by the treatment. As per a recent study published in The Lancet has suggested that 28% of 800 cancer patients that also diagnosed with COVID-19 had died as they were receiving the cancer treatment from the past one month.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

However, it should be prioritized to test cancer patients and give them early health care facilities if they become infected with the novel coronavirus from which more than 11 million people have been attacked and more than 524,000 fatality cases have been reported, around the globe.

While there is a huge disaster caused by the deadly virus, more than 2.4 million people have successfully fought against the coronavirus and recovered, according to the data excluded from two main resources including Johns Hopkins University (JHU) live update about coronavirus and Worldometer.

Source: Worldometer

Protective Measures for Cancer Patients Diagnosed with COVID-19

Meanwhile, cancer patients have been sidelined by the global fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, the primary health care for cancer patients comorbid with coronavirus should be prioritized because the negligence could have harmful effects.

However, as per the current paper, the medical health bodies recommended to introduce a better way to treat the cancerous COVID-19 patients attentively by taking a proper history of the previous cancer treatment to get rid of any future threats for the infected person. Cancer treatment can also cause depression and anxiety so that BMJ suggested to take care of not only the physical health of the patients but also their mental health.

The cancerous COVID-19 patients should get enough sleep, a good diet, and daily exercise for mental wellbeing. It has been proved that walking can help in preventing and treating depression and anxiety. Also, it improves positive mental health outcomes such as happiness and self-esteem.

Source: Health Direct, Australia

Management Plan for Cancer Care During the Pandemic

The first strategy that can be used for the primary health care of cancerous COVID-19 patients is remote consultation (RC) which is also known as teleconsultation. RC can be defined as an online telephone call or a video consultation between a paramedic doctor or clinician and the patients. This strategy is useful for the safety purpose of the clinicians as well.

The BMJ added: “Such evaluation should inform system redesign, with patient voices and good data at the center. Conventional models of patient and public involvement need to become more nimble and integrated to ensure that patients’ views are heard when rapid decisions need to be made.”

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