Lung cancer patients have twice the risk of COVID-19 infection

 Mysuru: COVID-19 is associated with a high burden of severity in patients with lung cancer. Patient-specific features, rather than cancer-specific features or treatments, are the greatest determinants of severity, said Dr.M.S.Vishveshwara, Chief Radiation Oncologist and Medical Superintendent, Bharath  Hospital & Institute of Oncology..

Delivering a talk on Lung cancer Dr. Vishveshwara said, “As of right now, there is no definitive data that links novel coronavirus with lung cancer. However, an early study from Wuhan suggested that lung cancer patients had almost twice the risk of COVID-19 infection than the general population. What still needs clarification is whether this is because those patients, like many in cancer treatment, were immune-compromised”.

“The projected incidence of patients with cancer in India among males was 679,421 (94.1 per 100,000) and among females 712,758 (103.6 per 100,000) for the year 2020. One in 68 males (lung cancer), 1 in 29 females (breast cancer), and 1 in 9 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime (0-74 years of age;Lung cancers can arise in any part of the lung, but 90%-95% of cancers of the lung are thought to arise from the epithelial cells, the cells lining the larger and smaller airways (bronchi and bronchioles); for this reason, lung cancers are sometimes called bronchogenic cancers or bronchogenic carcinomas” added Dr. Vishveshwara.

The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:

 A cough that does not go away or gets worse

Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)

Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing


Loss of appetite

Unexplained weight loss

Shortness of breath

Feeling tired or weak

Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back

New onset of wheezing

Lung cancer is treated in several ways, depending on the type of lung cancer and how far it has spread. People with non-small cell lung cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these treatments. People with small cell lung cancer are usually treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Prevention and reducing the risk for Lung cancer

Don’t smoke. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start. …

Test your home for radon. …

Avoid carcinogens at work. …

Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. …

Exercise most days of the week. (MR).


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