There are no specific data on the evolution of COVID-19 in patients with thyroid cancer, nor how it affects them in particular. However, in itself, this type of cancer does not cause a suppression of the immune system, which is the primary condition for being considered a high-risk population.

This changes if you have recently received chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery (surgeries performed before the pandemic do not add up as a risk factor, only recent ones) since this type of treatment weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to any disease. Check with your head and neck cancer surgeon about the susceptibility of your current condition.

However, regardless of the case, the situation cannot be taken lightly as there are still many things that we do not know about the virus, so it is best to take precautionary measures.

How to continue treatment during the pandemic?

Depending on the country you are in, the conditions for carrying out your treatment plan may vary. However, bodies in the international medical community, such as the British Thyroid Foundation, have put together some suggestions for different clinical scenarios of thyroid cancer patients. These are the suggestions:

  • Patients who have completed treatment for thyroid cancer: Patients who have received prior treatment for thyroid cancer, such as surgery, with or without iodotherapy, are not considered to be at increased risk for COVID-19 infection.
  • Patients with scheduled surgery: Patients with significant symptoms and/or rapidly progressive disease should be able to access surgery. For patients with cancers classified as “low risk” where progression is considered slow, surgery may be delayed until such time as it is considered safer to proceed. Surgery may also be deferred for patients considered susceptible to severe COVID-19 infection or who may need intensive monitoring after surgery.
  • Radioactive iodine therapy: Since the pandemic began, most medical centers have discontinued I-131 treatments due to the overload of patients brought on by COVID-19 and concerns about the potential spread. In most cases, radioactive iodine therapy is not urgent and can be safely delayed. However, as deconfusion progresses in many countries, it is possible to restart treatment, consult your thyroid cancer surgeon about this possibility.
  • TSH Suppressive Therapy: Patients receiving suppressive doses of thyroxine (i.e., have a TSH target of <0.1mU / l) should continue with their current dose. Being on suppressive doses of levothyroxine does not increase the risk of COVID-19 infection.
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors and chemotherapy: Patients receiving inhibitors or chemotherapy may have an increased risk of developing severe coronavirus disease because their immune system is weakened due to a decrease in the number of white blood cells. In these cases, the continuation or modification of the treatment plan will depend on the recommendations of your head and neck surgeon or clinical oncologist.
  • Previous radiation therapy: Patients who previously received external beam radiation therapy to the neck may be at increased risk for severe coronavirus disease and should also consider self-isolation.

Have a plan in case you get sick

Establish who could take care of you in case of illness and keep in touch with family, friends, neighbors, and health professionals during this time by email or phone, especially if you live alone.

If you become consciously exposed to the virus or begin to experience symptoms such as a sore throat, dry cough, fever, or shortness of breath, seek medical help as soon as possible and try to contact your care team by phone before personally visiting any center.

If I have had COVID-19, will I be able to continue cancer treatment?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should talk to your head and neck cancer oncologist or surgeon about the impact of this on your cancer treatment. In many centers, a negative COVID-19 test is recommended before chemotherapy, or another cancer treatment begins again.

However, some patients with COVID-19 continue to test positive even after recovering from their symptoms. In this situation, your health care team will consider the risks and benefits of restarting thyroid cancer treatment despite the positive test.

When you resume your cancer treatment, it is important that you wear a mask when attending the clinic or treatment center and that you maintain good hand hygiene by using a disinfectant or handwash before and after visits.

Cancer can start anywhere in the body and begins when cells start to grow uncontrollably in certain areas of the body, leaving aside normal or healthy cells.

Head and neck cancers are among the most common types of cancer, although little is said in-depth about them, below, we explain about them, their causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Neoplasms and cancer are scientifically defined as an abnormal cellular response that causes cells to grow at an uncontrolled rate, or at an abnormal location, or both.

Unlike other cancers, head and neck cancer appear due to external factors. The main factors that cause this type of cancer can be:

Alcohol

When alcohol consumption is excessive, there is an increased risk of developing these types of cancer.

Currently, a large number of young people and adults include alcoholic beverages in their day-to-day activities for fun, celebration, or hobby, without being aware of what the limit or limit should be when ingesting them so as not to directly affect their health.

Tobacco

People often believe that tobacco consumption in any of its presentations causes only lung cancer, and they are not only at that risk, excessive and continuous tobacco use is also a cause of head and neck cancers, that is, but consumption High also increases the risk of tumors in the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx.

The risk of developing head or neck cancer is much higher in people over 45 years; in fact, specialist doctors say that it is much more common for men and not women.

Diet or nutrition

Another risk factor is nutritional deviation by the person. By having a high consumption of alcohol and nutrition very high in fat and low in vegetables, it is possible that there is a deficiency of vitamins, which increases the chances of getting head and neck cancer. The same happens when excessively salty foods are added to the diet, causing nasopharyngeal cancer.

Oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene and poor teeth are also often a risk of cancers in the oral cavity.

It is advisable to treat those toothless spaces, keep the mouth and teeth clean, and brush after each meal with the correct products.

Infections

The infection that is mainly related to these types of cancers is the human papillomavirus in its type 16 and 18; it is directly related to oropharyngeal cancer that involves the tonsils or the base of the tongue. In the event of a timely discovery of this type of cancer derived from the human papillomavirus, it allows the patient to have a better prognosis and a less aggressive treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Exposure in workplaces

People exposed to wood dust are at risk of nasopharyngeal and laryngeal cancer, as are those who work in companies where they handle industrial products such as asbestos, synthetic fibers, building materials, textiles, ceramics, and wood.…