Mesothelioma and COVID-19
by CCUK Support
Those who already suffer with mesothelioma could be at risk of complications due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. As a respiratory illness which is rapidly spreading across Europe and the rest of the world it is greatly concerning to anyone with a pre-existing lung or breathing issue.
Mesothelioma patients should arm themselves with the necessary information and resources they need to keep themselves safe in this time.
What are the risks?
There are multiple risk factors COVID-19 will present for mesothelioma patients. The possibility of delaying cancer treatment is a real risk for sufferers – particularly if they were to show signs of the flu or respiratory distress. The demand placed on hospitals and medical care teams is going to increase exponentially, leading to longer wait times and lower volume of availability for medication and supplies that patients may need.
How Does COVID-19 Affect Someone with Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a disease that viscously attacks the lungs and the chest cavity, therefore a respiratory disease like COVID-19 could be particularly dangerous if it was contracted.
At the end of February this year, a new study was published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology which explores the effects of early-phase pneumonia that was brought on by COVID-19 in the lungs of lung cancer sufferers.
The study compares two patients who underwent lung lobectomies for adenocarcinoma, they were later found to have had coronavirus when they had their surgery. Pathological examinations showed damage to their tissue cells because of effects such as increased fluid and abnormally large cells. Despite not showing the symptoms of pneumonia when they underwent surgery these changes in their lungs clearly show that cancer patients are at risk of pneumonia if they contract this latest illness.
Keeping informed and aware is the most important way to keep yourself safe and prevent the spread of disease, the current steps we advise are:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water.
- If you have any symptoms such as a newly developed continuous cough and/or a high temperature, stay at home at don’t leave your house for 7 days.
- If your symptoms worsen whilst in home please call 111, only use 999 for a medical emergency.
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing, wash your hands or use hand sanitising gel straight after.
For more information on how to stay safe go to:
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