Scientists and medical professionals are continuing to learn more about the new Coronavirus strand that has changed our world today. For breast cancer patients, compromised immune systems following treatment place them in the “high risk” category for contracting COVID-19. Likewise, they may also have a higher risk of developing more sever symptoms. However, a recent study sheds a small positive light in the otherwise overwhelming reality of the current pandemic. The study analyzed COVID-19 mortality among patient who had undergone previous breast cancer treatment.
Seventy-six breast cancer patients were enrolled in the study, of which 59 had COVD-19. Of the positive coronavirus enrollees, 37 had metastatic breast cancer, 28 required hospitalization, 6 required admittance to the ICU and 4 died. Results showed COVID-19 deaths were more likely due to other comorbidities rather than current or previous breast cancer treatments. Of those patients who sadly lost their lives, all had significant noncancer comorbidities including hypertension, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. “While our study cannot determine the incidence of COVID-19 infection among breast cancer patients, the small number of diagnosed cases suggests that breast cancer patients do not appear to be at higher risk than the general population,” the authors of the study share in the findings summary. “Importantly, we found no trend in favor of a relationship between a history of breast and lymph node radiation therapy, radiation therapy sequela, and radiologic extent of disease or outcome.”
Although breast cancer patients need to take every precaution possible to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, if a positive diagnosis does occur, prior breast cancer treatment will likely not impact recovery.
According to the CDC’s guidelines, it is very important we all take the following steps to reduce the risk of contracting and/or spreading COVID-19: