Who Should Refrain From Taking Covid-19 Vaccine
Jaipur: The rollout of the Covid vaccine has started in the country, but fear and confusion still persists in the minds of people. Similarly, cancer patients also have a lot many questions about the vaccine and its effects on their health. Cancer experts believe that patients suffering from blood cancer and various other types of cancers have to keep special precautions and care in order to take COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Ajay Bapna, Senior Cancer Disease Specialist at Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (BMCHRC) stated that according to the current information available in regard to COVID Vaccine (Covishield), the vaccine appears to be safe for cancer patients.
Dr. Bapna further stated that according to the current guidelines of NCCN, patients who are undergoing the treatment for blood cancer should not get the vaccine if their blood count of is low. After taking necessary precautions, they can get the vaccination done only after their blood count is back to normal. Also, patients who have recently got bone marrow transplant done, should not take this vaccine for the period of three months starting from the beginning of transplantation. However, patients who have recently undergone a surgery can be vaccinated only after two to three weeks of recovery.
In addition, if the patient is undergoing treatment with solid tumor, such as mouth and throat cancer, ovary cancer, breast cancer, then he /she can get the vaccine in between two chemo cycles or a few days before the start of chemo therapy. Similarly, those patients who have successfully finished their treatment or are cancer survivors are safe for vaccination and can get vaccinated without any fear.
Patients undergoing radiation therapy are safe
Dr. Nidhi Patni, Director, Radiation Oncology Department, Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (BMCHRC) said that this vaccine is completely safe for cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy and that cancer patients can get vaccinated even during the therapy.
Cancer patients growing rapidly in the country
Dr. Arvind Thakuria of BMCHRC shared that nearly 2.5 million people in the country are cancer patients. Along with this, there is a rise of around 11 lakh 57 thousand 294 new cancer patients in the country every year. At the same time, 7 lakh 84 thousand 821 people are suffering from premature death due to this disease. Oral cancer, lung and stomach cancers are increasing rapidly in men, while breast and uterine cancers are the most common among women.
Dr. Thakuria says that due to lack of awareness, cancer patients avoid the initial sympotms and approach doctors for treatment at a very late stage due to which they are in constant fear of whether they will be able to survive the disease or not. This constant fear leads to negative impact on their health and treatment.
Cancer prevention is possible
Prevention of cancer is possible if tobacco (beedi, cigarettes, gutkha) and bad lifestyle choices (like not exercising, consuming more oil, eating spices, etc.) are left behind. Women can protect themselves from cervical cancer by getting vaccinated at intervals of 6 months. After the age of 40, women should undergo mammography for breast cancer and Pap smear for cervical cancer.