Dr. Sam on Mitigating Risk of COVID-19 in Elderly Patients With Cancer

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Christine Sam, MD, discusses strategies to mitigate the risk of the coronavirus disease 2019 in elderly patients with cancer.

Christine Sam, MD, hematologist and oncologist, assistant member, Department of Individualized Cancer Management/Senior Adult Oncology Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses strategies to mitigate the risk of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in elderly patients with cancer.

Elderly patients with cancer are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, Sam says.

As such, practicing social distancing, wearing masks, performing good hand hygiene, and avoiding touching their faces are potential strategies patients can use to mitigate this risk, explains Sam. Additionally, ensuring that patients are up to date on their vaccinations is critical to minimize the risk of pneumonia in this population.

Typically, older patients come to the clinic more often than younger patients, Sam says.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, improving telehealth options, increasing geriatric-friendly alternatives to telemedicine, and providing supplemental education or IT support can make elderly patients more comfortable with using telehealth options, concludes Sam.

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