Saturday, July 23, 2022

Cancer and COVID

Q: Cancer survivors who do not have active cancer have a higher risk for severe COVID-19? 

A) True
B) False

Answer: A

Although data is not very robust, it suggests that cancer survivors are prone to severe COVID-19 disease. The odd ratio can be up to 1.8. Unfortunately, patients with hematologic malignancy may have an even higher risk, up to fourfold. The risk decreases depending on the time difference between previous cancer and COVID infection.



1. Williamson EJ, Walker AJ, Bhaskaran K, et al. Factors associated with COVID-19-related death using OpenSAFELY. Nature 2020; 584:430.

2. van Doesum J, Chinea A, Pagliaro M, et al. Clinical characteristics and outcome of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with haematological diseases: a retrospective case study in four hospitals in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Leukemia 2020; 34:2536.

3. Mangone L, Gioia F, Mancuso P, et al. Cumulative COVID-19 incidence, mortality and prognosis in cancer survivors: A population-based study in Reggio Emilia, Northern Italy. Int J Cancer 2021.

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