Chemotherapy and COVID-19

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Frequent Visitor

Chemotherapy and COVID-19

I would really appreciate it if someone could inform those of us who are currently undergoing or have recently completed chemotherapy how compromised our immune systems are in relation to Covid-19.

There seems to be no information on the web - except a general comment that those with cancer are at greater risk. That's a massive umbrella statement which gives no useful information. Is it the cancer itself, or the treatment that they're talking about? Do different types of chemotherapy have different impacts on immune systems? Should we be locking ourselves away from the world for the next few months? (OK, that was  a suggestion deliberately over the top, but probably a starting point from where many of us are coming)

 

As background information, I completed a course of CAPOX (for bowel cancer) on 8th January (for the oxaliplatin component) and 22nd January (for the capecitabine component). How long until my immune system is back to normal? How much is it compromised at the moment?

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Super Contributor

Re: Chemotherapy and COVID-19

I don't know how quickly your body recovers from that particular chemo, but I would imagine everyone is different in the rate they recover. I would let your body guide you - If you're not feeling any fatigue or any other side effects, it's probably a safe bet that you're ok. Having said that, I wouldn't go anywhere without a mask, & I'd still take precautions. Don't go anywhere you don't have to.
Budgie
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Regular Contributor

Re: Chemotherapy and COVID-19

Hi Irene1,

 

When I had my chemo a while ago, I had 12 rounds of FOLFOX (a few months after my surgery).

I wasn't given an instructions to avoid anyone, but just try and avoid being in too close a vicinity to sick people for a while.

I went overseas not long afterwards, and the medical team didn't have any problems with that.

Perhaps best to check with your medical/treatment team first, as I'm sure you situation is different to mine.

Best of luck.

-s

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Chemotherapy and COVID-19

Hi Irene,

 

Your immune is related to your white cell count, your personal army of infection fighters. Have you been having blood tests before treatment? This is something your oncologist usually keeps an eye on. Everyone's system recovers at a different rate. If you are really concerned ask for a blood test, a FBC (full blood count) will give these results.

 

I have 2 little germ balls at home that go to daycare, so I always have to be careful. My best advice is to try not to touch your face. Wash your hands regularly and try not to stress.

 

All the best,

Carly

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Chemotherapy and COVID-19

I completed 12 cycles of Folfox on Jan 30th 2007 for Colon Cancer. My Neutrophils were extremely compromised  but had recovered by May when I travelled to Bali for a vacation. I would stay out of harms way for at least 2 months. By December I was travelling in China in Yunnan province and had completely recovered.

 

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