Some cancers and treatments can impact your immune system and increase your risk of infection—but the extent may vary by patient. For example, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy can suppress the immune system of patients undergoing these treatments and increase their risk of infection. However, if you have a history of cancer, there is no evidence suggesting that you’re more likely to contract coronavirus (COVID-19). But, if you are admitted to an intensive care unit because of the virus, your treatments and outcomes may be more severe than for non-cancer patients.
If you are a cancer patient—or are caring for one—you should follow the CDC’s guidelines for groups at higher risk for severe illness. Cancer patients with a fever or other symptoms should seek evaluation by their provider and, if diagnosed with COVID-19, ask if any changes should be made to their cancer treatment.