HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Patients who are undergoing cancer treatments should be especially vigilant in the prevention of COVID-19.
Results of a recent study published in the Lancet were revealed by Dr. Peter Yu, Physician-In-Chief of Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute.
“There is a higher risk of dying if you are a cancer patient and get infected with COVID-19, a rate that’s about double 13 percent compared to 6.5 percent,” says Dr. Yu.
Dr. Yu also pointed out a misconception about COVID-19 transmission that he wants cancer patients to be aware of as they continue treatments.
“The risk of getting an infection is not in the hospital and in the clinics and offices, the risk of getting infection is in the community, that’s where the virus is,” he said.
Over the weekend Dr. Yu virtually attended the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Studies on COVID-19 and cancer were discussed among the worldwide audience, including some that used data collected by Hartford Healthcare.
“Patients who were with more advanced cancer, patients that had more symptoms or other diseases, did have a higher risk of dying with cancer, these patients should have their treatments deferred until the infection is cleared,” says Dr. Yu.
He says the bottom line is that people who have cancer should not let their guard down, due to the danger of contracting COVID-19.
Dr. Yu says “Cancer patients need to be extraordinarily cautious about infection, they need to maintain social distancing even as others in our society start to enjoy.”