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How Breast Cancer Affects the Risks of Covid-19

Breast cancer patients may be at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and other risks. Those above age 60 are at the highest risk. The symptoms of COVID-19 can be severe in people with breast cancer and delay their cancer screening and treatment.

When undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy, the immune system of the patient is often weakened. This makes them vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 and other infections. In many people, however, the immune system will recover a few months after they finish treatment.

A breast cancer patient who is currently receiving treatment or who completed treatment recently is at increased risk for SARS-CoV-2.

The SARS-CoV-2 infection causes COVID-19, which in people with a weak immune system will have very severe symptoms. 

People with breast cancer that has already spread to the lungs are most vulnerable since COVID-19 affects the respiratory system.

A patient’s screening and surgery may be canceled or delayed to prevent exposure to the virus. Since COVID-19 is contagious, patients, doctors, and other healthcare teams are at risk of exposure, and canceling hospital visits is the only way to reduce exposure.

The situation has also disrupted the supply of medications, making it difficult for patients to receive adequate prescriptions.

Everyone taking care of a breast cancer patient may need to stay away in order to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. It is important for all people to observe social distancing and other hygienic practices during this COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the best solutions is to use telemedicine, especially in non-emergency patient care and routine follow-ups. In this way, physicians can evaluate any new symptoms, answer questions, and coordinate care through the phone or online. Routine appointments can also be carried out remotely.

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