Does having received chemotherapy or radiation in the past raise your risk for getting COVID-19 or having a more serious course of illness?
Created by: Team Rx.Health
Modified on: Mon, 23 Mar, 2020 at 11:30 AM
- To date, no evidence is available to suggest that any cancer treatments raise your risk for getting COVID-19 any more or less than anyone else who is exposed to the virus.
- There is some evidence that patients with cancer may experience more serious COVID-19 infection if they acquire it, likely because cancer and cancer treatment can contribute to weakened immune systems which can then lead to a reduced ability to fight off infections.
- Patients who are getting treatment for cancer also interact with the health care system more frequently than the general population, so more exposure in that setting may contribute to a higher risk of getting an infection, but that is not known with certainty at this point.
- Patients are advised to speak with their cancer care team about whether non-essential clinic visits can be skipped, re-scheduled, or conducted by telephone or videoconferencing.
- Keep in mind, however, that skipping treatment for cancer because of concerns about the risk of infection with COVID-19 is a serious decision and something that should be discussed with your oncologist.