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Welcome to the Cancer Health Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people who have any type of cancer, their friends and family and others with questions about living with cancer. Check in frequently to read what others have to say, post your comments, and hopefully learn more about how you can reach your own health goals.

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Recent Posts

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1
Cancer and Coronavirus COVID-19 / Important Covid - 19 Updates
« Last post by danialthomas on March 28, 2020, 03:29:32 pm »

Cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease of 2019) continue to rise in the United States. Please do not minimize the impact this virus can have, even in young people (see https://www.propublica.org/article/a-medical-worker-describes--terrifying-lung-failure-from-covid19-even-in-his-young-patients).

Based on recent data (see https://www.newsweek.com/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-conventional-care-study-1494176), I am no longer prescribing hydroxychloroquine to my patients. I am now prescribing nitazoxanide as an alternative (see https://www.nature.com/articles/s41422-020-0282-0.pdf).

Like me, I am sure you have gotten unsolicited emails talking about using supplements to “strengthen your immune system” considering COVID-19. I’m all in favor of a strong immune system, but that may not be enough when you have a virus that can DISABLE the immune system. In my professional medical opinion, you need a protocol that can simultaneously: a) kill COVID-19, b) block the ability of the virus to inhibit the immune system, c) limit the cytokine storm, and d) inhibit lung damage. To learn more, visit https://www.thomashealthblog.com/?p=10115.

Please note that lack of time prevents me from answering any questions you may have from this posting. This information is being posted to help protect you and your family.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
Mount Dora, Florida
http://www.newhopeforcancer.com
2
Experts say treatment decisions should depend on the individual and factors such as cancer stage.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many cancer patients are facing a series of dilemmas, including whether or not to keep receiving treatment, Vox reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 650,000 cancer patients are treated with chemotherapy in an outpatient oncology clinic in the United States each year.

But many people living with cancer have compromised immune systems and are among the groups of people at greater risk of contracting the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, a respiratory disease whose symptoms can range from mild to severe.

A recent report from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network found that cancer patients in China with COVID-19 had a 3.5 times higher risk of mechanical ventilation, ICU admission and death compared with those without the disease.

This puts both patients and oncologists in a difficult predicament. Oncologists ask themselves, “Should we continue to give immune-system-suppressing cancer treatments to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic?” On the other hand, patients ask, “What happens to me and my cancer if I stop treatment altogether?”

The problem is, chemotherapy drugs damage healthy white blood cells, which are the body’s defense against viruses like the novel coronavirus. But stopping treatment could also put people living with cancer at risk for even more problems, including tumor progression and shorter survival times.

What’s more, it’s unclear how long this pandemic will last. Although some patients have expressed a willingness to skip one or two chemo treatments, as Vox puts it, “If a patient were to delay their chemo treatment right now, it might not be any safer to resume the treatment should they reschedule it for the coming weeks or months.”

Read more...
https://www.cancerhealth.com/article/continue-cancer-treatment-coronavirus-pandemic
4
Lupron and Calodex are hormone therapies that do not typically suppress immune function. More generally, some cancer chemotherapy medications can suppress immunity. We don't know yet whether people with suppressed immunity are more likely to catch the coronavirus, but if they do, they can experience more severe illness. This is especially true for older people and those with other health conditions. Best bet is to follow health officials' advice about "social distancing," such as staying home, avoiding crowds, and if you do have to go out, trying to stay three to six feet apart from other people.
5
In our recently updated piece "What People With Cancer Need to Know About the New Coronavirus" (https://www.cancerhealth.com/article/people-with-cancer-coronavirus) we added the following editor's note:

Quote
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article stated that people with compromised immunity are at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus, in addition to developing more serious disease. While this is the case for many infections, there currently are not enough data to say whether immunocompromised people, including those living with cancer, are at greater risk of catching the new virus.

As more is known, we will be posting it all here:
https://www.cancerhealth.com/tag/coronavirus
6
Living with Prostate Cancer / Prostate Cancer treatment and the Corona Virus
« Last post by johnnymac737 on March 14, 2020, 08:07:11 pm »
Hello,
I'm being treated with Lupron injections and Calodex tablets.  Immunosuppressants, I believe.  Does this compromise my immune system and make me more suseptible to the corona virus.
Thanks for any help and support.
7
The news is coming fast. To follow all Cancer Health's #coronavirus coverage watch here...

https://www.cancerhealth.com/tag/coronavirus

8
More from the Cancer Health editors:

7 Ways to Prevent the Spread of the New Coronavirus
https://www.cancerhealth.com/slideshow/ways-to-prevent-the-spread-of-the-new-coronavirus-slideshow

When and How to Wash Your Hands
https://www.cancerhealth.com/article/wash-handsa
9
From Cancer Health Science Editor Liz Highleyman:

A month after the new coronavirus respiratory disease known as COVID-19 came to public attention, researchers and public health officials are continuing to learn about its spread, its mortality rate and who is most likely to become seriously ill.

Although much remains unknown, it’s clear that elderly people, those with other health conditions and people with compromised immune systems have a higher likelihood of severe illness. This includes people with cancer who are being treated with chemotherapy. But taking some basic precautions can lower your risk and improve your well-being.

Read more...
https://www.cancerhealth.com/article/people-with-cancer-coronavirus
10
I have been treating challenging stage-4 cancer patients using an immunometabolic approach for 32 years. In that period of time, I have seen these eight signs and symptoms often show up in people who are less able to achieve remission:

1.   Moderate-to-severe cachexia (weight loss, muscle loss, lack of appetite, fatigue, and decreased strength)
2.   Moderate-to-severe ascites (fluid in the abdomen) or pleural effusion (fluid between the lungs and chest wall)
3.   Uncontrollable pain and/or nausea
4.   Markedly elevated iron in the blood (ferritin >300)
5.   Markedly elevated inflammatory markers (hs-CRP >3, homocysteine >16, fibrinogen >500)
6.   Severe anemia (hemoglobin <8)
7.   Hypoalbuminemia (blood albumin level below the reference range)
8.   Low heart-rate variability

Having any of the above signs and symptoms does not preclude me from treating a patient, but it does make my job more difficult. Bottom line, if you have been diagnosed with cancer, please do not wait until you develop any of these signs and symptoms. Be sure to check out all your treatment options with your oncologist along with a local integrative/functional-medicine doctor. The best outcomes are usually obtained when you combine (integrate) the best of Western medicine with the best of alternative medicine.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
newhopeforcancer.com
victoriousovercancer.com
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