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What is my COVID risk?

PruKPruK Member Posts: 1
I am a breast cancer survivor, having been in remission since February 2017. My husband and I are living in the US as we’re working with the US military for a few years. We’re in the city of El Paso where Covid numbers keep increasing. It’s a city of 650000 and just yesterday there were 1216 cases. 
My research has said that since I’m post treatment I’m not at risk, but my husband is concerned that the 32 rounds of radiation which went through my left lung may put me at a higher risk. I haven’t been able to find an answer?


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,178
    Hi @PruK

    It’s a worrying time for almost everyone but a lot depends on circumstances. Your risk of infection depends on many factors - most of all your degree of interaction with others who may be infected (and may not know). Active cancer treatment may reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, making you more susceptible to infection generally. Radiation may have weakened your lung capacity, which may increase the chances of more severe effects if you do contract the virus. Have you any medical advice about your particular medical history at hand?

    Age is a factor again in severity of effects but I assume that may not apply. Mask wearing (three layers, properly fitting over nose and mouth) at all times in public has proved effective in Melbourne, as has social distancing (keeping at least 1.5 metres distant from anyone you are talking to), and scrupulous hand washing and sanitising (when you can’t wash). All of this has brought Melbourne from 500/600 new cases a day to single digits. 

    Unfortunately this appears to
    be a capricious virus - all we can do is limit the opportunity for infection as far as possible. Best wishes. 
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 939
    Dear @PruK,

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • poodlejulespoodlejules Member Posts: 385
    Hi @PruK. I share your and your husband's worry especially with such high case numbers over in the States. I'm about a year behind you in my treatment timeline and also had left breast radiation. I also ended up with a partially collapsed lung and lung clots a year after my treatment....possibly because of treatment or possibly random...... so am very concerned about COVID and my lungs!
    I've spoken to my GP and she confirmed I am at higher risk so have been limiting outside trips and doing all the stuff @Afraser mentions. I had the flu shot for the first time ever too. I also dose myself with the herb Astragalus for a strong immune system (in capsule form off iHerb), turmeric, a probiotic and magnesium. It has also come to light here that high levels of Vitamin C and D might help in a better outcome if you do get the virus.
    We recorded 0 cases and 0 deaths here in Victoria today so I'm starting to feel a little less anxious but I don't think we can let our guard down for a while. Good luck with it all , Julie  
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