Every year, February is designated as Cancer Prevention Awareness Month, and at a time when the country is experiencing an outbreak of Covid-19, oncologists are concerned that cancer care delivery has taken a back seat, with many casually passing unverified health tips, making it easy to fall into the trap of cancer management misconceptions. Because they are immunosuppressed, making them vulnerable to getting the coronavirus, the Covid-19 pandemic has added to the burden of persons suffering from cancer or at risk of developing cancer.
The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network also noted that the Covid-19 pandemic and responses to help stop it have had a far-reaching impact on the cancer community, including delays and cancellations of health care services, economic challenges affecting their ability to pay for care, and concerns about their future ability to access and afford the care they require. Because many patients are receiving delayed diagnoses, which has a significant impact on treatment outcomes, health experts emphasize the significance of prompt caution and care to help cancer patients achieve better treatment outcomes.
“During this time, it is crucial to spread awareness around the importance of getting vaccinated and address various myths that exist surrounding cancer care and treatment,” Dr PS Dattatreya, Director And Chief Of Medical Oncology Services at The Renova Soumya Comprehensive Cancer Centre, said in an interview with HT Lifestyle. “According to WHO’s Globocan 2020, cancer is the second leading cause of death in India, with almost 8,00,000 fatalities,” he continued. Various cancer patients and healthcare providers are currently dealing with the stress of many misconceptions about cancer care as a result of the pandemic. During this pandemic, efforts to raise awareness about cancer symptoms, screening procedures, and treatment options are critical to improve the cancer care system.”
Dr. PS Dattatreya debunked four cancer management fallacies during the Covid-19 outbreak by separating fact from fiction.
Myth #1: If I’ve had cancer or now have cancer, I shouldn’t get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Fact: In India, most healthcare organizations suggest that everybody above the age of 18 get vaccinated against Covid, including those with any underlying medical issues. It is especially important for cancer patients, as their immune systems are weakened and they are more susceptible to the virus.
Myth #2: During cancer therapy, the Covid-19 vaccination should be avoided.
Fact: If you’ve recently had cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant, your doctor may urge you to rest for a bit until your immune cells have recovered before getting vaccinated. Following a few weeks of immunization, your doctor may recommend immunosuppressive treatment.
Booster dosages are sometimes given to cancer patients who are having treatment that has a moderate to severe impact on their immune system. This is done to boost the body’s reaction to the principal dosage inoculation.
Myth #3: mRNA vaccinations can create changes in my DNA, which can lead to cancer.
Fact: None of the vaccines provided may produce any DNA modifications or mutations, thus they can’t cause cancer because they never interact with the cell’s DNA, which is found in the nucleus.
Myth #4: If I test positive for cancer, therapy will be impossible.
Fact: If a person is tested positive for Covid, it is critical to adopt Covid-safe procedures to prevent the virus from spreading. Contact an oncologist to learn more about how it will affect your cancer therapy. Most cancer treatments require a negative test before proceeding, however if death is close, a benefit-risk analysis will be performed to continue therapy.
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