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COVID-19 and oncology patients


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of deaths worldwide and has affected the physical and mental health of countless people, while disrupting social and economic activity across the globe. Oncology patients are affected, not only by the disease caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus, but also by the significant impact the pandemic has had on the healthcare system. On a global scale, due to the pressure that the pandemic has put on the healthcare systems, oncology patients have experienced significant problems and delays in receiving proper care and treatment.

There is a prevailing view that all oncology patients are vulnerable to SARS-COV-2, but this is not entirely true. There are, indeed, categories of oncology patients who are more susceptible to COVID-19 and its complications, but there are also oncology patients whose risk for developing severe COVID-19 is either equal to or even lower than that of the general population. The vulnerability of an oncology patient to COVID-19 depends on many factors, which interact with each other in a highly complex manner. These factors are influenced by the patient’s characteristics (such as their age, gender, level of functioning, level of nutrition, possible comorbidities), their specific cancer (type, stage etc.), as well as the treatment they are receiving or have received and its effect on their immune system.

For example, there are certain types of cancers which facilitate the SARS-COV-2 virus to enter the body. On the other hand, depending on the class of immune cells affected by the cancer or the treatment a patient is undergoing, there is an increase or possible decrease in the risk of developing complications due to COVID-19. Thus, a link has been found in several studies between low lymphocyte counts in patients with COVID-19 with severe symptoms. In contrast, a mild reduction in neutrophil and macrophage cell counts, which is also observed in some oncology patients, is something several researchers speculate can possibly protect against developing severe COVID-19, since it limits the severe inflammatory reaction, the virus may cause. Finally, in addition to the anti-cancer treatments that significantly increase one’s risk of developing COVID-19 with complications, there are other anti-cancer treatments that may additionally reduce the risk of developing severe COVID-19. Researchers are currently studying these for this purpose.

Every oncology patient is unique, as is their vulnerability to COVID-19. Each patient has their own risk factors, and each patient must be treated individually if they contract SARS-COV-2. The Department of Infectious Diseases at the German Medical Institute provides all oncology patients with the best possible approach to preventing, diagnosing, and treating COVID-19. 

24-hour Emergency Helpline

(+357) 25 208 000

Emergencies are not yet accredited of the General Health Care System

(+357) 25 208 000

Emergencies are not yet accredited of the General Health Care System.


Dr. Aris Angouridis

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