Are Those with Cancer at Higher Risk for Coronavirus?

Dr. Vadim Gushchin of The Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy Discusses Cancer Patients & Coronavirus

March 30, 2020
Surgical Oncology at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

According to Dr. Vadim Gushchin of The Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy, cancer patients with compromised immune systems are at increased risk for complications if they become infected with the coronavirus.

“Some patients do have compromised immune systems, especially those who are on active immunosuppression with chemotherapy, with low white blood cell counts, so they're technically immunosuppressed,” Dr. Gushchin said.

Even those who received chemotherapy treatments over a year ago should still consult their doctor.

“The patient should consult their oncologist to know the specifics of their treatment and whether they are still immunocompromised. But typically, they are at average risk. They are at the same risk to get coronavirus infection; they are at slightly higher risk of developing trouble if they get infected,” Dr. Gushchin said.

While some cancer patients may develop serious complications, Dr. Gushchin said the majority will recover.

Doctors' offices are taking precautions by spacing outpatient visits so waiting rooms are not crowded, rescheduling non-emergent visits and using telemedicine.

To view Dr. Vadim Gushchin’s interview regarding the coronavirus, COVID-19 and cancer patients, click here.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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