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COVID-19 And Cancer Together Increases Mortality Rate

COVID-19 and cancer
Credit: UICC.org

COVID-19 is a novel virus that has caused pandemics recently. Coronavirus infection critically affects the lungs of the patient, especially if he is a cancer patient. The COVID-19 virus is capable of traveling to other body organs and causing damage to them. The damage caused due to coronavirus may or may not be reversible.

Moreover, the recovery from COVID-19-infection depends upon the physiological condition of the patient before the coronavirus-infection. Besides, if the patient is already under treatment for other chronic diseases like cancer, the survival rate reduces. Furthermore, in the case of complications development in COVID-19 patients, the recovery rate decreases or ceases. 

Cancer has been a deadly disease since ancient times. With advancements in science and technology, scientists have discovered much data regarding it. Yet there is a lot more to know. Furthermore, cancer is one of the leading causes of death up until now. COVID-19 and cancer become a deadly combination for patients.

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The COVID-19 Infection

The coronavirus is capable of causing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Furthermore, the infected individual feels weak, experiences difficulty breathing, fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients experience body aches, pain, loss of smell or taste senses, conjunctivitis, and rash on the skin.

In critical conditions, the infected individual has to endure shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, and loss of speech or movement. The shortness of breath reduces the oxygen availability for the body cells. The body of an infected person is no longer able to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide effectively with the surroundings. 

Lack of oxygen further reduces the effectiveness of body-cells. Furthermore, the body will be unable to produce energy on its own. Moreover, it results in a lowering of the metabolic activity of the body. Some people are unable to eat or drink and become unconscious. Such people need ventilation and available medicines in injectable form for treatment.

Cancer Patients Suffering From Coronavirus Infection

According to researchers, cancer patients are at a higher risk of severe disease and even mortality. Out of 89 patients with cancer with COVID-19 admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (IUC), 32 patients died. Patients who require mechanical ventilation have a mortality rate of 54%. Furthermore, leukemia and lymphoma patients with coronavirus-infection have a mortality rate of 47%. Moreover, lung and breast cancer patients with coronavirus-infection have a mortality rate of 27%.

Michael Dang, MD, is a critical care fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dang attended the virtual CHEST conference, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians. At the conference, Dang reported that cancer patients with COVID-19 have a mortality rate of 36%. Although the mortality rate is high, cancer with coronavirus is survivable. 

Dang and his colleagues studied the mortality rate in various patients suffering from this malignancy and COVID-19 infection with a mean age of 64. Furthermore, the patients are black, white, women, men, and Asians/Indians. Moreover, cancer patients have co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cigarette smokers, asthma, and COPD patients. 

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Morbidity And Mortality In Cancer Patients With Coronavirus Infection

The patients under study undergo multiple therapies for COVID-19. Treatment therapies include hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, remdesivir, convalescent plasma, N-acetylcysteine, and tocilizumab (Actemra). Furthermore, these patients were in the Intensive Care Unit. Moreover, 75% of patients received steroids with other medicines. 

According to Wasif Saif, it is extremely-vital to prevent infection with COVID-19 in people with Oncologic-malignances on active chemotherapy. Furthermore, if cancer patients get COVID-19-infection, they need a longer duration of hospitalization. Moreover, immunocompromised patients are at high risk of both morbidity and mortality. 

The chances of developing complications increases in cancer patients. Especially such patients with COVID-19 infection. Thus, they require immense care and need to follow preventive measures at every cost. Furthermore, chronic cancer with lethal-coronavirus-infection increases the death rate of cancer patients with coronavirus infection.

About the author

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Adeena Tariq Lari

The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.

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