The new coronavirus is changing life as we know it. The pandemic has quickly spread across the globe, taking national governments and private citizens by surprise. Its rapid rate of spread and severity of symptoms make the new coronavirus a serious health concern, especially for people with thoracic cancers such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Most people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 have safely recovered at home.
However, cancer patients and other populations with compromised immune systems have a higher risk of severe symptoms. Because cancer patients, especially those with mesothelioma and lung cancer, have an increased risk of complications from an infection, they should understand the risks of exposure to the disease. How Does Coronavirus Affect the Lungs? In this article, 3Meds bring to you the steps cancer patients should take during Coronavirus?
Coronavirus attacks the lungs, it causes lung tissue to produce increased fluid and cellular waste known as exudate. This buildup of fluids and matter causes inflammation of vital tissue such as the lining of air sacs and the pleura, which is the tissue surrounding the lungs. In cancer patients, these tissues have likely already been damaged by cancer cells or various treatments. Damaged tissues in the lungs are more prone to infection as they lack the natural defenses of healthy cells. This allows the development of opportunistic infections, such as pneumonia, which puts patients at risk for septicemia or other complications that can lead to organ failure or death.
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Treatment is largely similar to what exists for influenza: Treating the symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus.
Chemotherapy compromises the immune system and increases the risk of infection. For this reason, it is essential to follow strict hand-washing and social distancing guidelines from the CDC and WHO. If you are actively receiving chemotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic, speak with your treatment center staff and physicians to ensure they are taking all precautions necessary to protect you from transmission.
Ask about their policy for keeping sick employees home and whether they have the proper protective equipment to serve you without risking your health. Patients receiving chemotherapy should stay at home at all times except when treatment is required. Delivery and other online services can assist with groceries and other tasks when needed. Staying home during this period is crucial to preventing infection.
Some cancer treatments, particularly chemotherapy, can weaken your immune system and can make you more prone to infection. In the case of COVID-19, some patients may be affected more aggressively. That’s why strict measures are in place to protect you as well as the team providing care. It’s important to take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus and to let your doctor know if you develop any symptoms. This is even more important if you have other health problems, too, such as diabetes or heart disease. It is extremely important that you follow these recommended precautions to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often and/or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Maintain physical distancing, staying at least 6 feet away from other people.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow, or into a tissue that you immediately throw away.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home every day.
- Stay home as much as possible, especially if you are sick.
- Do not attend large gatherings.
- Stock medicines, medical masks and oxygen as they may be limited. Visit the best online pharmacy app to buy your medicines and health care products hassle free.
Infections are the second most common cause of death in people with lung cancer. Without a diagnosis and proper treatment, complications can lead to permanent damage and possibly death. As pneumonia develops from severe coronavirus infections, it can cause severe damage to mesothelioma and lung cancer patients who have undergone aggressive treatment or only have one lung remaining. Not only does this increase the risk of infection as the airway becomes compromised, but it also prevents the ability to clear the infection.
So, maintain the necessary steps and precautions to avoid getting infections which in turn may lead to permanent damage or death.