Drawing attention to the risk of cancer patients catching coronavirus, Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Hakan Karagöl stated that in some types of cancer such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, since the immune system cells are adversely affected by the disease, these people may become unprotected against the microbe. Stating that the body can become weaker in the fight against germs due to treatments that sometimes have negative effects on the immune system, such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, Prof. Dr. Hakan Karagöl, “Due to the nutritional disorders that may develop due to treatment, the suppression of the body’s immune system, the morale of the patient may be depressed in the fight against the microbe, and this makes the fight against the microbe difficult.”


Stating that some of the common findings in coronavirus infection can be confused with some findings of cancer patients, Prof. Dr. Hakan Karagöl stated that in some patients, signs of infection such as fever are not seen due to suppression of the immune system. Underlining that cough and shortness of breath, which are common in cancer patients with lung cancer, are also confused with coronavirus infection. Dr. Karagöl stated that taste and smell changes, which are a common finding, can also occur in cancer patients due to cancer drugs. Stating that cancer patients should pay more attention to protect themselves from the epidemic, Karagöl said, “They should pay attention to their nutrition and sleep patterns. Sleep is one of the most important factors for strengthening the immune system. It is especially recommended to go to bed at 23.30 at the latest. At least 20 minutes of light exercise or walking should be done daily. Appropriate herbal supplements can be taken under the control of a doctor.


Stating that both dead virus vaccines and m-RNA vaccines for coronavirus infection do not have different side effects in cancer patients than normal healthy people, Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Hakan Karagöl stated that cancer patients can be vaccinated and said:

“Cancer patients should be divided into 2 groups in terms of vaccination. They should be divided into patients who have completed cancer treatments and are in the follow-up process, and cancer patients who are still undergoing surgery, radiotherapy or drug treatment. Vaccination can be done in patients who have completed their treatment and are in the follow-up process, as in normal healthy people. “There is no information yet that the vaccine administered in patients receiving chemotherapy, immunotherapy, smart drug therapy or hormone therapy due to cancer disease has a different side effect than normal people. Especially in patients receiving chemotherapy, the vaccine is less likely to work.”


Noting that the effect of the coronavirus vaccine may be low after chemotherapy, Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Hakan Karagöl said, “In our daily clinical practice, patients who continue to receive chemotherapy and whose vaccination has come should be calculated and informed to the patient on which day they should be vaccinated. For this reason, patients treated in other clinics should consult their oncologists about this issue. It is not necessary to stop cancer treatment and vaccinate in patients receiving drug therapy in cancer, or to stop the vaccine until after cancer treatments are completed. It would be right for patients who received radiotherapy to have their vaccinations in consultation with their radiation oncologist doctor,” he warned.

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