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Medical Minute: What Cancer Patients Need to Know About COVID-19

MM - Cancer and COVID

How can cancer treatment and the daily lives of cancer patients and survivors be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We sat down with Alfred Vargas, MD, OhioHealth system chief of medical oncology, for a virtual OhioHealth Medical Minute to talk about whether cancer patients are more at risk for contracting COVID-19 and whether their cases of the virus are more severe.

"A patient population whose immune systems may not function well and whose underlying comorbidities overlap, can create an even higher risk that we would certainly be worried about," said Dr. Vargas. 

Oftentimes, cancer survivors can find themselves at an extremely elevated risk, especially if they've only recently completed treatment. For those who find themselves in this situation, Dr. Vargas offers some tips for protecting yourself from developing COVID-19 symptoms.

"Good hygiene, washing hands and maintaining physical distance are great starting points," said Dr. Vargas. "I ask my patients that they be intentional with what their processes are as they go out and interact with the community. Take steps in each of those environments to minimize your contact where you might be at risk of contracting the virus."

To learn more about cancer care at OhioHealth, click here