“Blood cancers patients can not delay their treatment in any situation as it is life-threatening. These patients are advised to go to the hospitals for his or her ongoing treatments also as for diagnosis of any new blood cancers if any.”
Ankur Mittal, consultant- clinical haematologist at Mohandai Oswal Hospital, Ludhiana stated this while addressing a virtual news conference on Covid-19 and blood cancer on Tuesday.
He said that as per the GLOBOCAN 2020 report, every year, over one lakh people are being diagnosed in India with a kind of blood cancer such as lymphoma, leukaemia and multiple myeloma. Treating such patients is of absolute priority, as treatment can’t be delayed in such patients, he opined.
Moreover, India has the 3rd most substantial number of haematological cancers in the World, after the US & China.
Talking about the Covid-19 impact, Dr Ankur said that many of the symptoms of Covid-19 can overlap with the symptoms which a patient may be experiencing from their cancer diagnosis or treatments like fever, shortness of breath, body or muscle aches, headache and generalised weakness.
Thus it becomes equally more important to urge themselves to visit or consult the treating doctor for any similar symptoms, he maintained.
Weight loss, unexplained fever, night sweats, itching might be early signs of lymphoma.
While abnormal hemogram report that falls in haemoglobin, low platelet counts, raised or low white blood cells usually seen in acute leukaemia whereas low backache with anaemia are early signs of multiple myeloma, he informed.
He further said that over 30% of his patients with haematological disorders are currently on treatment through telemedicine which is helping them in safeguarding their patients against Hospital visits during Covid time.
Moreover, we are taking all the possible precautions at Mohandai Oswal Hospital for limiting the exposure from Covid including screening for symptoms of Covid-19 before arrival, screening of symptoms at door, limiting visitors to centres, spacing out waiting room and infusion room chairs, mandatory mask-wearing at the centres and telehealth visits, if appropriate, he asserted.