In 2019, a virus emerged that threatened the whole world and still continues to do so, in many countries, including India. Covid-19, as we know it, is caused by a newly discovered family of viruses, i.e. Coronavirus. While many people suffering from it experience mild to moderate symptoms, those with any kind of morbidity, or a compromised immune system tend to develop more serious complications. The former includes people suffering from conditions like obesity and diabetes, whereas the latter usually involves patients with a serious underlying condition like cancer. In this blog, we have tried to answer common questions related to Cancer, Coronavirus and Covid vaccination, with the help of experts from the best cancer treatment center in Noida.
Does having cancer, now or in the past, put you at a higher risk of developing severe Covid complications?
Unfortunately yes, having cancer does increase your chances of developing serious complications as cancer can drastically impact your immune system and make it difficult for it to fight the virus. Cancer specialists in Noida suggest that the risks of prolonged infection might be higher in patients suffering from blood cancer, as compared to those having solid tumours, owing to the depletion of immune cells.
A lot of studies are being conducted by the National Cancer Institute to shed more light on the risk factors for Covid-19 and develop better treatment and management options for cancer patients infected with it.
As of now, we cannot say anything about people who had a history of cancer but have recovered completely. If you have any queries or concerns related to the same, you should definitely consult, leading cancer specialist, Dr. Vikas Goswami, for expert care and guidance.
Is it safe to get vaccinated if you have cancer or a history of it?
As per the guidelines set by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, every person above the age of 12 should take the covid-19 vaccine, and this also includes patients suffering from cancer, or those undergoing cancer trials. However, people participating in a cancer trial need to inform their cancer trial research team and plan their vaccination accordingly.
If you have recently received any treatment for cancer that suppresses the immune system, you might have to wait a couple of weeks before getting vaccinated. This is because treatments like chemotherapy can damage your immunity and it will take at least 2 weeks to recover from the side effects of the treatment.
Some trials have shown that the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine in patients with serious underlying medical conditions that elevate their risks of grave Covid-19 complications are similar to those of a healthy person. It is pertinent to note that patients suffering from cancer can get themselves vaccinated against any flu or infection, and not just Covid-19.
Also, it is very important to note that cancer patients have been excluded from many Covid-19 trials and hence, we need more data and evidence to understand the response of the vaccine in patients who are immunosuppressed.
Also, you should not take the vaccination if you are allergic to polyethylene glycol or polysorbate-80, which is commonly used as an excipient in some chemotherapy drugs. The vaccination is also recommended to patients with positive Covid-19 antibodies, however, this is only done after proper serological testing.
Hence, it is always a better idea to consult a specialist in the field for expert guidance and suggestions. You can find one at Zeeva Oncology, the leading Cancer treatment clinic in Noida.