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COVID-19: Increased risk for cancer survivors over age 55?

spankyg Member Posts: 12

Hi there,

I'm getting mixed messages on this topic.

I had Apocrine Breast Cancer - Grade 3 Stage 1 in my left breast in October 2015.

I underwent a lumpectomy along with lymph node removal (lymph nodes were precautionary & found negative).

I completed radiation, chemo and herceptin.

In October 2018, I was DCIS positive in my left breast and underwent a full mastectomy. No radiation or chemo this time.

I was almost finished reconstruction (still have nipple recon to do) when Covid-19 hit.

I also have a heart murmur and was put on a heart drug during herceptin treatment to maintain my heart rate at a proper level. I am no longer on the heart drug as my heart rate stabilized in the year after completing the Herceptin treatment.

Does this history of breast cancer and being over 55 yrs old place me in a higher risk category?

Thank you.


  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,992

    Spanky - Sounds like almost two years since your full mastectomy? Any remaining issues with full recovery? How long has it been since you were on the heart drug? What are your docs telling you? And specifically your heart doc? I've heard that if you're more than a year past ALL treatment, with no residual issues, your risk is down. But I'm not a doc. Personally I think I would be extra cautious if I had a heart murmur.

  • spankyg
    spankyg Member Posts: 12

    Thanks Minus Two. I've been off the heart drug since Feb 2018 but my ecocardiogram only recently started showing that my heart health was back to where it was pre-cancer. My family doctor is saying I'm at no risk and I no longer have to see an oncologist for routine check-ins. I don't want to be a nervous nelly but a couple of people I know of in my community were healthy as horses and early 50's but with bouts of cancer in their past....and they both died from Covid-19. Their families were in complete shock.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,992

    Spanky - I'm being cautious at this point. I don't go out unless I have a mask on and I insist on 6 ft. I'm not being paranoid, but my visits with friends have been in someone's yard - everyone brings their own chairs & drinks. I'm not going back to the gym yet, nor restaurants. But then again I'm in Houston and our cases are soaring. Too many people refuse to wear masks or social distance. Unless you have some compelling reason to drop the protections, why do it?

  • spankyg
    spankyg Member Posts: 12

    OK thanks Minus Two. I'm going to err on the side of caution as well.

  • vidal1993
    vidal1993 Member Posts: 57

    My wife is 46 years old and she is post-cancer treatment. She is taking Tamoxifen and other medications including Janumet, Synthroid, Amlodipine. She is also a Type 2 diabetic.

    My intuition is that she would be at greater risk of COVID-19 complications were she to get it.

    Anyone have any thoughts, comments?

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534

    Diabetes has been a known risk factor from the first year. There are recent articles about a significant increased risk of diabetes after contracting Covid-19. I don’t know those other meds, but I would think she is at greater risk from diabetes alone.

    If you’re asking to determine if she’s eligible for a 2nd booster at 46, then I’d check with one of her doctors or your local public health guidelines.