Covid and Cancer

March 22, 2021

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Anchor lead: Does having cancer make people more susceptible to Covid? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Some people with cancer are more likely to become infected with Sars-CoV2 and develop Covid-19 than people who don’t have cancer, a very large analysis reveals. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the data.

Nelson: There were 2.5 million cancer cases diagnosed within the past year in this group. Among them there were 16, 570 patients diagnosed with Covid-19. Twelve hundred of them had a cancer diagnosis. Overall the increased chance to get Covid-19 among cancer patients was seven fold. Seven times the number of the chance to get Covid-19 among the cancer patients. The strongest effect was for leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer.  :31

Nelson says the increased susceptibility among those with these specific cancers makes sense since they are involved with the immune response and respiration, and points to the need for increased vigilance in these populations. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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