Cancer patients heavily affected by covid-19 – Kenya News Agency
As our society grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is prudent for everyone to take responsibility and play a role in stopping its spread.
We must take care to protect ourselves and others in our communities, by limiting the spread of the virus.
This is especially important for healthcare workers, who interact with people at high risk for serious illness, including those with cancer.
Having cancer regardless of treatment status is a risk factor for worse from other infections, including influenza and Covid -19.
The pandemic has created challenges for patients, especially cancer patients. The stress and isolation they may be experiencing right now is far worse than we think.
Dr. Beatrice Melly, specialist in hematology and oncology in cancer treatment at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), expressed concern about the safety of blood cancer patients in the current situation of the pandemic.
“If you think about it, that makes sense. Leukemia patients by definition have cancer of the immune system, ”says Dr. Melly.
“Corrupted bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, which is why people with leukemia are more susceptible to infections,” she added.
Dr Melly elaborates on the trauma and risk of blood cancer in patients, saying they strive to seek medical care despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 environment.
“The bone marrow plays an essential role in immune function; Hematologic malignancies are of particular concern, as people with blood cancers may have weakened immune systems due to the cancer, its treatment, or both.
Dr Melly explains the importance of screening for cancer as one of the methods of starting treatment early and preventing serious damage to the health of those affected.
“In the case of my patient, Ms. Anne Nanjala, I watched her closely and she cooperated well. But the financial constraints seem to be reducing the results obtained so far, ”said Dr Beatrice Melly.
Ms Nanjala, a leukemia patient, complains about the distance she traveled each week from Kakamega to attend her cancer treatment, which has been difficult since last year and has worsened this year when her fishing business collapsed.
“I have faced challenges accessing treatment due to financial constraints and doctors have advised me to avoid congested public transport as I am at high risk of contracting Covid-19 and my immune system is weak and it’s extremely dangerous for me, ”she lamented.
Nanjala said she received her Covid vaccine, but the result was serious as she was forced to fight endless side effects that prompted her to be admitted to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
“I was rushed to Moi teaching and referral hospital and was admitted for two weeks. Doctors confirmed that my immune system was weak, promoting specialist care to monitor my health progress. Nanjala said.
“I am worried and not sure if I will handle the second dose given the previous reaction which further jeopardized my health,” she noted.
“It was difficult to watch such patients suffer to the point of losing some. Treatment is essential, some delays and missed appointments mainly due to lack of money for cancer drugs, transportation and accommodation, ”noted Dr Melly.
“As for the case of my patient Nanjala, she cited many challenges that hinder her health treatment and progress which are crucial throughout the treatment sessions, I followed and found that the lack of access to clean toilets; being hungry / thirsty all day; long hours of waiting for public transport; and not having a place to rest all day long are some of the difficulties she experiences, ”said Dr Beatrice.
Dr Melly says it is important for cancer to be caught early and for treatment to be initiated early, noting that this will achieve the end result and suppress the development of cancer cells in patients.
She noted that blood cancer has several treatments and that it includes blood transfusion which is not sustainable and depends only on blood transfusion and that stem cell transplant (born marrow transplant) is the line treatment. fast and has a healing capacity of 90 to 95%.
“Cancer is not a death sentence and patients should strive to follow the doctor’s prescription for it,” he noted.
Some of the symptoms and signs are fatigue, fast or irregular heart rate, nosebleeds and bleeding gums, and prolonged bleeding from cuts.
Dr Melly says the government has been so successful in alleviating the monstrous cancer and should do more to help poor patients manage their treatment without any hiccups.
The message here is that cancer patients should strive not to miss any medications and clinics prescribed by their doctors in order to reduce the preventable death rate.
By Hassan Adan Ali