There are some cancer patients for whom COVID-19 poses a life-threatening risk. During the first 10 months of the pandemic, more than 16,500 Americans with cancer passed away as a result of complications brought on by coronavirus infection.
According to study author Xuesong Han, scientific director of health services research at the American Cancer Society, people with cancer may be more susceptible to COVID-19 complications and death, especially those with blood cancers, who may be immunocompromised, and prostate cancer, who tend to be older.
From March 2020 to December 2020, using data from death certificates for U.S. citizens, we calculated 3,142 cancer deaths with COVID-19 as a contributing cause and 13,419 COVID-19 deaths with cancer as a contributing cause.
Unrelated to COVID-19, there were over 337,400 cancer-related fatalities. In persons with blood malignancies (23.3 vs. 9.6%, respectively) and prostate cancer (12.4% vs. 5.5%), there were substantially more cancer fatalities linked to COVID-19 than cancer deaths unrelated to COVID-19.
Large cities, men, those who were 85 years of age or older, and members of racial/ethnic minorities were associated with higher rates of COVID-related cancer fatalities.
Immune systems are typically compromised in cancer patients undergoing therapy due to the disease or its management. Additionally, individuals with cancer are typically older and have additional co-morbid disorders such as heart disease, chronic renal and lung diseases, diabetes, and obesity that are linked to severe COVID-19 illnesses.
In cases of cancer unrelated to COVID-19, the majority of fatalities took place at home or in hospice facilities. The majority of COVID-complicated cancer fatalities, however, occurred in long-term care institutions or hospitals.
In order to reduce their chance of developing COVID-19, cancer patients must take measures, such as maintaining current immunizations, avoiding crowded indoor areas, and wearing masks in public.
People can contract COVID-19 more than once, so it’s crucial that patients receive up-to-date vaccinations even if they’ve already experienced the disease. In order to reduce the risk of transmission, it is equally crucial for family members and unofficial caregivers to be current on their COVID-19 immunizations.