CHARLESTON, S.C. — There’s still much to learn about how COVID-19 impacts those with cancer.
Dr. David Cachia, a neuro-oncologist with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), spends part of his days searching for those answers.
The hospital system has joined the National Cancer Institute to study the affects of COVID-19 on different patients.
“The study is trying to determine are there, for example, certain cancer types that make you more prone to develop COVID. What are the outcomes once you develop COVID, if you’re actively being treated for cancer? These are the questions hopefully over the next few months and years we’ll learn more about,” Dr. Chacia said.
So far, he said, it seems those with cancer are more likely to be at a higher risk of getting the virus and having more severe symptoms.
“Cancer treatment lowers your immune system and makes you more prone to develop infection in general,” Dr. Chacia said.
Although the study doesn’t focus on vaccines, he recommends those seeking care speak to their doctor about whether to get the shots.
“Always follow the recommendations of their oncologist because those are the physicians that are going to guide them in their specific case,” Dr. Chacia said.
He’s hoping the study will bring more clarity on the best forms of care.
Those interested in participating should speak to their oncologist about ways to get involved.