Cancer and Covid-19: Don’t Delay Treatment

The Covid-19 pandemic creates an extra layer of concern for oncology patients who are just starting, in the midst of, or wrapping up treatment. Early reports raised concern when they indicated that Covid-19 mortality rates were higher in patients with cancer.

As the Covid-19 crisis has continued to unfold, ongoing research is unfortunately aligning with the early concerns about the increased impact of this virus on cancer patients. Last week, additional research was published showing a higher mortality rate among Covid-19 patients who have cancer.

Yet there was some unexpected good news within this new data.

Although the mortality rate was higher for the overall group of cancer patients with Covid-19, the actual cancer treatment (such as chemotherapy) did not affect the mortality rate. The risk factors of older age and the presence of additional comorbidities did influence survival. However, chemotherapy did not.

In other words, the high deaths rates from Covid-19 seen in cancer patient cohorts are more driven by the age and other non-cancer comorbidities present in these patients and not related to the cancer treatment itself.

As one of the researchers powerfully summed up: “…withholding effective cancer treatments from many cancer patients during the pandemic runs the very real risk of increasing cancer morbidity and mortality, perhaps much more so than COVID-19 itself.”

Remember, you can count on BioPlus in these tough times, and in the better days ahead.