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Coronavirus and Cancer: What Oncologists Need to Know

Rachel Narozniak, MA
Published: Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020

Christina Tan, MD, MPH, assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and state epidemiologist

Christina Tan, MD, MPH

Infectious diseases are the second-leading cause of mortality in patients with cancer, whose immune systems are often compromised, so it is essential for providers to keep abreast of the latest developments in the management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to Christina Tan, MD, MPH.1

Table. Risk Factors for Severe Adverse Events (Click to Enlarge)

Investigators concluded that patients with cancer and COVID-19 had poorer prognoses, adding that in the event of rapid deterioration, “more intensive attention should be paid to patients with cancer.” Alternatively, when patients with cancer are infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, “more intensive surveillance or treatment” should be considered.3

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