Specialists from Americas Oncology, from Rede Americas – a medical-hospital group of the UnitedHealth Group Brazil, sign a paper presented with data on cancer and the disease caused by the new coronavirus
According to the latest estimates by the National Cancer Institute (INCA), 625,000 new cases of cancer could be confirmed each year by the end of 2022. A recent study, published in the Brazilian Journal of Oncology, presented at ASCO , made with medical records from nine cancer centers in five different Brazilian cities, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Campinas, organized by specialists from Americas Oncologia, points out that patients diagnosed with COVID-19, in the period of March 15, 2020 and August 13, 2020, showed different associations between clinical characteristics and severity of infections by COVID-19, such as heart disease, hypertension, primary or metastatic lung cancer, among others.
Results indicated that 102 patients had data collected for analysis, 85 (83.3%) of whom were assessed from hospitalized persons. The average age was 65.8 years, among a majority female (61.8%) and white (73.5%). Another 78.4% had performance status 0-1 (which are asymptomatic patients, or who have symptoms but do not cause debility) and the most common cancer subtypes were gastrointestinal (30.4%), breast (22, 6%) and hematological (13.7%).
Fernando Meton, director of Americas Oncology, explains that cancer patients may be at higher risk of complications and death from covid-19. “However, patients must be evaluated individually because the risk is greater in certain specific groups” notes the oncologist.
Almost 40% of the population had advanced-stage disease and the conclusion is that debilitated patients are 83% more at risk than active patients, hypertensive patients have 72% more risk, patients with less than 1000 lymphocytes at hospital admission have 2.4 more risks, than those with normal lymphocytes. Furthermore, considering several factors together (multivariate analysis), patients with lung cancer are at 2.6 times the risk, patients with lung metastasis are at 2.9 times the risk, patients with coronary heart disease are at 3.8 times the risk.
The doctor informs that the work represents a joint effort to emphasize the challenge in combating COVID-19 in cancer patients and that the results reinforce the importance of special management in cancer patients, such as public health policies, with the involvement of expert opinions to define priorities in cancer care and vaccination of at-risk groups. “Cancer patients may have a risk profile that varies from the usual of healthy people, to the high risk, such as that of the elderly population).
The conclusion is that every patient with cancer must be carefully monitored during periods of pandemic, because they are at greater risk of complications from various infectious diseases, especially covid-19, in which there is severe damage to immunity. “, ends.
Link to the publication of the full article in the Brazilian Journal of Oncology: