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Protecting Those With Cancer From COVID-19 This Christmas

Publication: KLTV-TV (ABC, Tyler)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Since March, folks have been asked to stay home when possible and limit their contact with others. And while it may be something new to most of us, those fighting cancer were already doing it. With the Christmas holiday just days away, doctors at Texas Oncology are reminding you to do what you can to protect those most vulnerable.

Anna Priebe, M.D., FACOG, is a gynecologic oncologist at Texas Oncology–Tyler. She tells KLTV that while you may want to visit with loved ones fighting cancer this Christmas, it’s far too dangerous.

“This is a special year,” she said. “We don’t have to do all the things that we do every year. We’ll be okay. Protect your loved ones.”

According to the American Cancer Society, those fighting cancer are at a higher risk for getting the virus, and infections can be more serious than in people who don’t have cancer.

“Cancer patients are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 in terms of severe complications and increased death rates,” she said. “Studies in China and Europe saw they had at least twice the death rates of people without COVID-19, sometimes approaching the 40% range.”

And while Dr. Priebe doesn’t recommend seeing those fighting cancer in-person this holiday, she said virtual visits are a safe and fun way to see your loved ones who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“We are so close to getting ahead of the virus, please just wait a little while longer,” she said. “Don’t do anything that would contribute to spreading the virus or contributing to your precious loved ones contracting the virus and doing poorly with it. You have to protect them. It’s your job to protect them.”
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