Although there is still limited information about the underlying risk factors for COVID-19, it is widely believed that certain patients with underlying conditions are at higher risk for contracting the virus and for severe complications. The link between COVID and prostate cancer has some overlap.
What Is COVID-19?
Because COVID 19 is a new virus, no one has prior immunity which means the entire human population is prone to infection. It is spread through respiratory droplets when people cough or sneeze, but scientists at this point do not think airborne spread is the only major way to transmit the disease.
Those Most Susceptible To COVID-19
People over the age of 60 are most susceptible to contracting the COVID-19 virus. At the same time, those over 60 have a preponderance of other underlying health issues, like heart disease, diabetes, pre-diabetes and lung conditions which make them even more vulnerable.
Those people younger than 60 can also be more at risk if they have similar underlying issues, and especially if they are not well controlled.
Prostate Cancer And COVID-19
Since this virus is new, there is not much information regarding how it affects those with prostate cancer. What is known is that cancer patients in general are among those at a higher risk of developing a more serious illness due to a weakened immune system from the cancer itself and its treatments.
The link between COVID019 and prostate cancer lies in one’s susceptibility to getting the virus and the possible severity.
Practical Information For Those With Prostate Cancer
Since those with prostate cancer are immunocompromised, special care should be taken to prevent the spread.
- Follow all of the CDC guidelines and best practices like washing hands, staying at home, cleaning surfaces, and wearing a mask if you must go out for necessities. Stay at a six foot distance when others are around.
- Use TeleHealth whenever possible to speak to Siouxland Urology, and avoid trips to the hospital. Ask if there are options available for you if labs are needed.
- Continue to be screened.
- If you are scheduled for a treatment, ask whether it can be delayed or if there are other longer acting therapies.
- If you develop symptoms contact Siouxland Urology immediately and find out your next steps like where to go for testing. Follow these CDC guidelines if you are sick.
- If you are a low risk patient with a low PSA, and are undergoing active surveillance, ask about options concerning delaying or deferring treatments. Ask if this short term change will affect your condition.
- If you think you may have been in contact with a positive patient, call Siouxland Urology before going to the hospital.
A Note For Caregivers
Many places around the country are not allowing caregivers to attend appointments and treatments. Ask your loved one’s provider to use the speakerphone during treatments so you can hear what is being said. Use technology and video conferencing to hear and see what is happening.
Above all, don’t panic. You surely don’t want care to be compromised, so follow all directions from the provider.
Contact Siouxland Urology with additional questions or concerns about any links between COVID and prostate cancer.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (605) 217-7000 or request an appointment online today!