Cancer & Covid

By Awaana Health

Oct 12, 2022

Ever since that one first reported the case of COVID-19 in December 2019 from the city of Wuhan in China the entire world underwent a series of drastic waves of changes. Soon  the WHO (World Health Organization) declared the outbreak of this disease as a pandemic in March 2020 and later followed countries all over the globe, announcing nationwide lockdown. While some tried to adapt to working online, home-schooling their children and ordering food via digital services like that of InstaCart, others had no choice but to be exposed to the deadly virus out there in order to keep the society functioning.

Corona Virus which is commonly known as COVID-19 is a serious communicable disease that causes illness in the respiratory system of an individual. The term Covid 19 is actually a sort of an acronym, derived from “Novel CoronaVirus Disease 2019”. Most people infected with this virus tend to undergo an experience of a mild to a moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring any sort of special medical treatment. Mild cases can be treated at home by getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of water and taking paracetamol to reduce fever. However, the others who turn out to be seriously ill, require distinctive medical attention. The elder section of the society and the ones with underlying medical conditions like that of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases or cancer are more likely to develop very serious ailments.

What people with cancer should know about Covid-19 –

The first large empirical study of nearly 1,000 cancer patients who were infected with the COVID-19 virus was put forward by The Lancet and simultaneously it was announced at a virtual ASCO 2020,which is the large annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The findings were gathered from over a 100 institutions that participated in the international COVID-19 & Cancer Consortium, popularly known as the CCC19, patient registry, underscore how fatal the virus could actually be for patients with active cancer and other underlying health conditions. The immune system is said to be a complex system that the body uses to resist infection by germs, such as bacteria or viruses. One is aware of how cancer and its series of tests and treatments tend to weaken the immune system. So when the immune system is weakened, there is a higher risk of contracting the virus. Because of this, Covid-19 is a common complication of cancer and cancer treatment and certain types can be life-threatening as well. 

Risks and Researches –

Meanwhile the data analysed from the OnCovid trial, a continuing study based at the prestigious Imperial College London that is tracking COVID-19-related outcomes in people with cancer in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy, found that about 1 in 6 patients with cancer who survived COVID-19 seemed to have developed certain side effects from the virus that has lingered in them, months later. With a median follow-up of around four months, one can see how half of the patients had long-term respiratory symptoms and almost about 4 in 10 have reported fatigue. About 7% had developed neuro-cognitive complications. The researchers have also found that patients with cancer and COVID-19 were nearly twice as likely to die, even after adjusting for genders, age, comorbidities, tumour characteristics, cancer therapy, and COVID-19 severity. Next, the people who were receiving systemic anti-cancer therapy when they were diagnosed with COVID-19 were observed and it was seen how about 13% of patients had to stop their cancer treatment permanently. Nearly 16% of patients on active treatment had to adjust their cancer treatment due to the COVID-19 virus. Immunosuppression was seen to be the most common reason cited for altering cancer treatment. About 40% of patients who had to adjust their cancer treatment regimens did so to avoid having to be hospitalised and one in five did so to avoid the risk of adverse events.  According to the lead author Alessio Cortellini, MD, of the University of L’Aquila in Italy, these two approaches — stopping treatment or continuing with an altered regimen — had clear implications for people’s long-term outcomes.

Treatment processes –

Experts agree that the COVID-19 vaccine is proposed to people with cancer, cancer survivors and those currently undergoing cancer treatment, including both chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Even though the original COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials did not specifically include people with cancer, including the vaccines for pneumococcal pneumonia and the flu, there are some vaccines which are acceptable on receiving during cancer treatment, when the immune system is weak, but on the other hand some vaccines, such as live virus vaccines, should not be given during cancer treatment. The COVID-19 vaccines are not live virus vaccines and may be given during or after one’s cancer treatment.

 Dr. Gary Lyman of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center states that cancer patients who need to go in for treatment, despite the pandemic, should carefully balance the risks and benefits, particularly if they suffer from additional comorbidities. Some patients, he said, may be able to change the order of their treatments, using endocrine therapy first for instance, and following up with chemotherapy at a later time. It is strictly advised that if a patient is showing symptoms such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, new confusion, or bluish lips, one should seek medical attention immediately. Preventive measures like that of self-isolation are highly instructed and in case of being outdoors, proper sanitation along with social distancing must be practised.

Ways to promote mental and physical growth –

Maintaining both mental and physical health during these hard times is an utmost necessity and one can keep a track of it by adding fresh and healthy habits in their daily routine. Practising yoga and meditation, preferably first thing in the morning helps to calm your nerves. Regular physical exercise is another must to improve one’s immunity so is getting the proper amount of sleep so that you feel fresh in the morning. Drinking enough fluids for better hydration is highly advisable. A balanced, nutritious diet with a lot of vegetables & fruits included in it is another crucial way. The use of turmeric, ginger, tulsi etc on a regular basis in order to boost immunity, taking your medicines in time and sticking to your treatments strictly is also another way one can help oneself to build their immunity.

Governments across the world along with numerous health organisations and other authorities have been continuously focusing on identifying the cases affected by the COVID-19 ever since its first outbreak. Healthcare professionals seem to be facing lots of difficulties in maintaining the quality of healthcare these days. With the world facing the coronavirus crisis, the pandemic has wreaked havoc and altered human lives forever. Its impact and the untoward consequences will be felt long after the virus diminishes. Yet, in times like this, hope is seen and felt like a powerful healer. Mankind stands united in its struggle against the blues of the Covid 19 pandemic and life will surely triumph.

Prioritising on the comprehensive approach of our venture at Awaana Health, we here try to create a carefully curated multidisciplinary outlook for our patients with our unwavering team of experts. Thorough research programmes while keeping out an exceptional attentive eye for the emotional, physical, nourishing, comfort and medical necessities of an individual is carried out with utmost care and concern. With the shadow of the pandemic still hovering over us, protective measures are being effectively carried out, ensuring the best for the patients. Awaana Health understands how big of a weight you carry on your shoulders and hereby promises their best and sincere commitment to make your recovery journey a hassle free and progressive one. 

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