2019 Coronavirus - COVID-19
There is rapidly rising concern over the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the U.S. and globally. Widespread consensus among medical authorities identifies elderly patients (particularly over age 70) and patients with chronic medical conditions (pulmonary disease, diabetes, cancer, and renal insufficiency, to name a few) as those at highest risk for severe adverse events from a COVID-19 infection. There is no conclusive evidence that patients with a history of cancer who are now in remission, off therapy, and otherwise healthy, would be at any increased risk of severe adverse events from a COVID-19 infection. Patients with cancer actively receiving chemotherapy and radiation, which can compromise the body's natural immune response, are at a higher risk of infection and severe adverse events from infection with COVID-19.
Any patient actively receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation for cancer should consult with their oncologist for further instruction and planning/logistical changes that may be necessary to assure the safest delivery of timely cancer care.
At the moment, the best way to avoid infection with COVID-19 is to wash hands often and thoroughly, avoid sick contacts (including those with recent travel history particularly to regions with known outbreaks of COVID-19), and practice social distancing.
Some reliable resources to stay up to date on COVID-19 in the U.S. and related to cancer patients follow: