Have you ever imagined a life like this? Sitting in front of a laptop or mobile instead of going to school, college, or work? Instead of taking your scooters to meet your loved ones you are looking for masks, instead of going out in the colorful nature, you are caged. Everything is still a nightmare for everyone. Life was so different before Coronavirus. It has shaken our lives whole upside down. It is a scary time for all of us, especially people who are already fighting cancer.
Cancer treatment in India is so much reliable but due to coronavirus visiting the hospitals, going for a checkup is beyond risky and this is causing anxiety in cancer patients and their families, as coronavirus in cancer patients can be severe. In this fearful situation, there are several questions that every cancer patient has in their mind, and we have tried to cover everything that a cancer patient must know about coronavirus.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus abbreviated as Covid-19 is an infectious illness caused by SARS-CoV-2. It emerged in December 2019. There are several types of coronavirus. Some cause mild illness while some can be very serious which can affect your breathing or respiratory system.
Coronavirus is a communicable disease. It happens when someone who has a cough and who is infected by the virus talks, sneezes or sings which releases tiny droplets in the air. And these droplets can reach anyone who is nearby and they can get a virus.
Should I delay cancer treatment due to the rise in COVID cases?
- It is never advised to delay the cancer treatment because it is the disease which spreads very fast on the other parts, thanks to the growing teleconsultation you have many other safe options like online consultation that you can try after discussing with your doctor, it is completely dependent on your condition and doctor, how he advises taking the treatment ahead as per the covid scenario.
- If you are at an early stage of cancer, treatments such as radiation, proton beam therapy or surgery can be slightly delayed by your doctor if he feels that it may not damage your other parts.
- You can consult your oncologist in India online and discuss the options like delivering chemotherapy at home which is possible in few regimens of chemotherapy, or consider oral options.
- If you are at palliative care, you can discuss with your doctor options like “drug holidays” which means stopping treatment temporarily.
Being a cancer patient, how can I protect myself from COVID?
Apart from vaccination, several precautions can be taken to prevent COVID-19. These precautions include:
- Wear a fit-well mask that covers the mouth and nose properly.
- Maintain a 6 feet distance between people who don’t live with you.
- Avoid overcrowded places and places that are poorly ventilated.
- Make a habit of using sanitizer and washing hands several times.
- Maintain Hygiene.
- And most importantly be aware of how your body is doing daily and if you find any symptoms immediately consult your doctor because you can recover fast in the early symptoms.
A piece of advice:
Last but not the least, do not get stressed, it will worsen your condition. Take proper precautions and do not believe in negative social media news at once, always consider taking a second opinion in India. Negativity is not going to solve any problem, instead makes you feel saddened, worried, and unhappy. Stay positive, this too shall pass.
- If I have cancer now or had it in the past, am I at higher risk of coronavirus?
Having cancer now can increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The factors that cause risk in cancer patients are weakened immune systems which reduces the ability to fight infections, older age, and other medical complications.
Some types of cancer like blood cancer can cause higher and prolonged infection which can also lead to death. This is because of the abnormal or depleted levels of immune cells that produce antibodies against viruses.
Well, as of now it is not known that the risk of having a history of cancer in the past can cause severe illness from coronavirus. It is very important for people who had cancer in the past to consult the best oncologist in India and get the necessary instructions.
- Can I take the Covid vaccine if I have cancer now or had it in the past?
Recently, it was published in the article of The New Indian Express that it is safe for most cancer patients to take the vaccine especially, it is safe for the cancer survivors who are disease-free and who are currently undergoing treatment like radiotherapy but the patients who are taking treatments such as chemotherapy, a stem cell or bone marrow transplant from top cancer hospitals in India your oncologist will guide you properly when to take the vaccine or suggest you wait until you have fully recovered and your immune system is alright.