Cancer Survivors Should Discuss COVID-19 Risks with Their Health Care Providers
Expert Dr. Sara Hurvitz discusses why cancer survivors should discuss their risk factors during the COVID-19 pandemic with their healthcare providers.
BY Dr. Sara Hurvitz
PUBLISHED March 25, 2020
The new coronavirus, also called COVID-19, is particularly concerning for patients with cancer. However, survivors, while not as immunocompromised as those in active treatment, should still discuss their risk factors with their physicians to determine what, if any, extra precautions they should take.
At the 2020 Miami Breast Cancer Conference® and Educated Patient Breast Cancer Summit, CURE® spoke with Dr. Sara Hurvitz, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, about what questions survivors should ask their medical teams to stay safe during the pandemic.
I don’t think that most patients who are survivors who have already been treated for their breast cancer and are not currently on chemotherapy or other therapies that lower the white (blood cell) count, they’re not necessarily at a higher risk of developing it than other patients.
But it’s important to talk to one’s oncologist and primary care physician to gauge, based on my age, based on other medical conditions that I have, or based on the medications that I’m taking, how do you gauge what my risk is, and what activities should I avoid, or what activities am I OK to do?