New Delhi: An ICMR report says that cancer patients are more prone to get infected by the coronavirus compared to the rest of the population. It also leads to high morbidity and mortality among high-risk patients. Experts recommend that cancer patients should not delay getting vaccinated.
Dr Suhas Agre, Medical Oncologist, ACI Cumballa Hill Hospital said that patients undergoing chemotherapy have lower blood counts. They are also immunosuppressed which makes them more vulnerable to Covid-19, reported The Indian Express.
Doctors are also reporting many cancer patients avoiding treatment during the pandemic due to unawareness and late presentation. All these factors increase their chances of getting infected as well as suffering dire consequences.
Dr Tanveer Abdul Majeed, surgical oncologist at Zen Multispeciality Hospital told The Indian Express that the fears around vaccination are baseless. He added that vaccines are very safe and they should be done on time without fear. However, Dr Agre thinks that the expected protection rate in cancer patients may be lower than the general population.
Experts also insist that cancer patients must diligently follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. Patients are also recommended to be in touch with their doctors via teleconsultation. Home-cooked meals and regular exercise are also insisted.
The ICMR report and the Bengaluru-based National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research said that the total number of male patients suffering from cancer in 2020 is 6,79,421. The number is likely to rise to 7,63,575 by 20205.
The number of female cancer patients is estimated to be 7,12,758 in 2020. The number is likely to rise to 8,06,219 within the next five years. There are 2,38,908 women suffering from breast cancer and it is also expected to be the most common type of cancer by 2025, said the report.