After Covid's Side Effects And Cancer
Covid-19 has wreaked havoc in the world. Almost every family across the globe is affected by it somehow or the other. This menace has rung the alarm bells, and most health professionals and doctors are aware of its after-effects.
Cancer patients and cancer survivors generally have a weaker immune system. Thus, chances are higher that Covid-19 may affect their overall health even more. Most of them are in talks with their respective oncologists and consult with their health care teams to ensure protection from this dreaded infection.
Covid-19 vaccines are available all across the globe, and World Health Organization has recognized Pfizer-BioNTech, Janssen, and Moderna. These vaccines are highly effective and can deal with almost every variant of Covid-19. These vaccines are capable of treating the Delta variant as well. But people often succumb to various kinds of illness even though they are already vaccinated.
Although the Delta variant is considered one of the potent variants of all the variants of Covid-19, it has been found in recent research that Omicron is even more infectious. Breakthrough infections are caused through Omicron even though people are vaccinated. The risk of breakthrough infection has been considerably lowered by offering booster doses to those infected.
Side Effects of Covid Vaccines
However, we cannot rule out the side effects of vaccines, and one also experiences pain at the injection site. The infected person often complains of muscle pain, tiredness and headaches, joint pains, chills, and fever, among other things.
These side effects are pretty common and generally disappear in 3 days. But the second dose can confer worse side effects than the first one, but again, one can come to terms with it in 3 days. But one must consult a doctor if the side effects still prevail after three days are over.
Cancer Patients And Side Effects
Experts believe that cancer patients need the Covid-19 vaccine, which also applies to cancer survivors. People undergoing cancer treatment also need it under the strict surveillance of doctors undergoing immunotherapy and chemotherapy.
However, the most disturbing thing is that cancer patients who have developed complications owing to Covid-19 have double the risk of dying than non-cancer people who are infected.
So, doctors advise not to offer the vaccine for suffering from anaphylaxis as harmful reactions can happen. It is advised to talk to doctors before applying the Covid-19 vaccine. The cancer care team has the best professionals to advise you regarding vaccination based on the patient’s specific medical history.
Cancer patients were omitted when clinical trials were held regarding Covid-19 vaccines in the initial stages. It also happened with the flu vaccine and the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. Some vaccines do not have any side effects during cancer treatment, provided the immune system is fragile.
However, cancer patients should avoid some vaccines like the live virus vaccines. Vaccines of Covid-19 are different from live virus vaccines and can be easily applied to patients undergoing cancer treatment.
Special Precautions For Cancer Patients
People undergoing active cancer treatment are at a much higher risk of getting infected by Covid-19. This holds for mainly the older patients who have acute medical conditions with severe lung and heart diseases and diabetes.
According to studies, people suffering from progressing and active cancer have more risk than those cancer patients in the remission phase. This is also true for cancer and non-cancer patients, and most of us must pay heed to these facts:
- Cancer patients must wash their hands regularly, avoid close contact with sick people, and not touch their faces.
- They’re advised to avoid all kinds of non-essential travel. They need to avoid traveling to those areas where the rate of Covid-19 and the risk of getting infected are higher.
- Those who are still not fully vaccinated must follow this, stay at home, and minimize exposure to the Covid-19 virus.
- Maintaining physical distancing at this point is very important. It would be best if you avoided social gatherings entirely.
- It is advisable to cover your face all the time with a face mask should.
- One can only resort to normal activities if the transmission rates of Covid-19 are low in your area.
- If the place has higher rates of Covid-19, it is advisable to follow the guidelines laid down by the local government and maintain social distancing. Masking is a must in such situations.
- If you are fully vaccinated with basic social distancing, you can still safely conduct outdoor activities.
- If you are not vaccinated, exercising and walking must be avoided in crowded places. A distance of 2 meters or 6 feet has to be kept from the other person.
- Emergencies call for harsh measures for which it is safe to carry essential medications and your prescriptions for one month at least.
- You need to update and create all the emergency contacts, including friends, family, and neighbors who can provide assistance and necessary information during such trying times.
- Maintaining virtual connections with family and friends is necessary. There are many platforms for making phone calls and video chats.
- It is also essential for cancer patients to schedule an appointment with an oncologist and discuss the risks and benefits of delaying and continuing the cancer treatment.
- The cancer patient must also schedule an appointment with oncologists and use telemedicine and videoconferencing.
- It is always great to keep in touch with the cancer care team, and I look forward to any valuable recommendations.
Medical Visits Of Cancer Patients
The visitation policies of most clinics and hospitals have changed as there is a higher risk of exposure for cancer patients. Some of these clinics allow only a single visitor for every patient, and in some cases, no visitors are allowed.
Physical distancing and wearing masks have been made mandatory in every health care setting. A cancer patient must book a medical appointment with the hospital or clinic after checking out their visitor policy. The professional from the cancer care team will check out all the appointments through telemedicine.
The cancer patient can be at their home and connect with the doctor and health care professionals using video conferencing using a laptop or mobile phone. The doctor’s office will provide the instructions, and you can check out with the staff whenever you see fit regarding the visit through telemedicine.
Serologic or antibody tests are effective in treating Covid-19 infected cancer patients. This process efficiently finds out antibodies in the cancer patient’s blood. However, these tests aren’t always accurate and must be avoided during the Covid-19 diagnosis.
Suspicious symptoms of Covid-19 can be checked through virus tests and antibody tests and check the cancer patient’s immune system simultaneously.
Continuation Of Cancer Treatment
After getting infected with Covid-19, it is best to talk to oncologists and discuss the pros and cons of cancer treatment. In some cases, no Covid-19 tests are required, and the oncologist begins with the cancer treatment.
However, if a patient shows positive for Covid-19 once after recovering and shows symptoms, the risk and benefits of restarting the treatment are recommended by the health professionals of the cancer care team.
It is hard to believe, but there are no cures available for Covid-19. Clinical trials have suggested that cancer patients with covid-19 can lower the chances of illness and hospitalization by using monoclonal antibodies.
A combination of imdevimab and casirivimab is used to treat Covid-19 infected cancer patients, and the authorization is provided for emergency use. It is an intravenous therapy involving monoclonal antibodies to cure the cancer patient.
There are other treatments, but they will require further authorization while using it on cancer patients.
On a Final Note
Cancer already poses a significant risk of dying. Covid-19 only increases this danger for you, taking you a few days closer to death may be. So, you should follow the advice of professionals from the medical team. Maintain your social distance from everyone until you fully recover and until the risk of Covid-19 reduces to negligible.