The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Question

Forums General Melanoma Community Coronavirus (COVID-19) Question

  • Post
      Hi folks,

      Cancer is an underlying condition, especially if you’re receiving chemo/radiation/immunotherapy.

      Do any of you know if you’re still at risk if you haven’t required any of those treatments? I had surgery which removed the cancer (stage 2B), and I’m wondering if I would be considered as having an underlying condition — I don’t think so, but I’m not too knowledgable regarding this and my oncologist is on vacation until next week so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask here.

      The above treatments can impact your white cell counts, which I’m guessing is why people are at risk there.

      I had 4 surgeries in quick succession, and a ton of antibiotics so I should be careful regardless, but just wondering.


    Viewing 4 reply threads
    • Replies
        ed williams
          Immunotherapy drugs in general boost the white blood cells (t-cells) so if anything I would guess and we are all guessing on this virus at this point, is that if you have melanoma and are on immunotherapy drugs like Nivo or Pembro then your immune system is running on all cylinders. Now, if you have developed a side effect because your immune system is running overtime and has caused an IRAE like colitis and you are on steroids to try and slow down the immune system then depending on your blood work your white blood cell count could be down. Case in point I had my blood work done last week because I have developed Colitis from Nivo back in Oct 2019 and we having been going up and down on tapers since, trying to get things under control, my blood work, white blood cell count keeps coming back as elevated or high, which means the prednisone still has not got my immune system knocked down yet. ( not a medical opinion but my own thoughts on this subject). Best Wishes!!!Ed
              ed, do you know how to edit comments after they have been posted?
              Per the cdc guidelines regarding people at risk for covid-19:

              Which states: “Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
              Older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like: Heart disease, Diabetes, Lung disease (COPD, Asthma)”

              ALWAYS – folks who are immunoCOMPROMISED are at risk for any infectious disease. Conditions that can lead to immunoCOMPROMISE include:

              Neutropenia – a decrease in white cells that fight off germs – can be caused by CHEMOTHERAPY (not the same as immunotherapy), radiation, stem cell transplant, bone marrow transplant and some drugs.

              Certain medications can decrease the immune response:
              Corticosteroids taken by mouth or IV: Budesonide (Entocort EC), Cortisone (Cortone), Dexamethasone (Decadron), Hydrocortisone (Cortef), Methylprednisolone (Medrol), Prednisolone (Prelone), Prednisone (Deltasone), Triamcinolone.
              TNF inhibitors (biologics): Adalimumab (Humira®), Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia®), Etanercept (Enbrel®), Golimumab (Simponi®), Infliximab (Remicade®

              Certain types of bone cancers that diminish the production of important white cells

              HIV and AIDS patients and other immune-deficiency syndromes

              Patients with asplenia – when you do not have normal spleen function – whether by surgery or by blood conditions like sickle cell disease, ITP, thalassemia, or spherocytosis.

              People born with deficits to the immune system: XLA, CVIC, SCID

              People with conditions that directly affect the immune systems like leukemia and multiple myeloma

              Patients on immune suppressing treatment as in after organ transplant

              Conditions that can put you at risk for infections include:
              Malnutrition, Severe burns or broken skin/or mucus membranes, Smoking, The immediate post op period after surgery or anesthesia, viral hepatitis, poor sanitation.

              Best advice for everyone:
              Stay home if you are ill.
              Stay away from those who are ill unless you are a healthcare professional.
              Use common sense. Don’t cough, sneeze or snot on others.
              Wash your hands.

              Hope that helps.

                here is my observation: I went to infusion therapy last Wednesday to a clinic attached to a large metro hospital. Absolutely no precautions were being taken in regards the some 50 people in the waiting room nor any of the staff. My Clinic has a thing called a Patient Portal where you can communicate with your medical team and they email or the hospital sends notices or test results or sets appointment. The point is at the touch of a finger they could send out thousands of CV alert of info to their patients. THEY HAVE NOT DONE THIS SO FAR

                my point: do not depend on you HC provider to protect you from CV.

                    I just got such a notice yesterday telling me to message staff electronically with health questions, notify staff in advance if you were coming in with symptoms, place a mask upon arrival, and wash your hand! I don’t know if it went to everyone or it was more personalized (it didn’t appear to be) but I thought it was a good first step.
                    Motorious: my Episcopalian Priest in FTW just made the news. u guessed it……..he’s a vector. Probably some confab he went to on church business. That ought to cause a lot to stir at the local grocery store.
                      if you are like me you said to yourself, I will get a bunch of handi-wipes and I am good to go. well here is a bit of a newsflash

                      SOAP , yes good ole HANDSOAP is better, according to this scientist:

                  Viewing 4 reply threads
                  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
                  About the MRF Patient Forum

                  The MRF Patient Forum is the oldest and largest online community of people affected by melanoma. It is designed to provide peer support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. There is no better place to discuss different parts of your journey with this cancer and find the friends and support resources to make that journey more bearable.

                  The information on the forum is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.

                  Popular Topics