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16. 04. 2020, Eschborn, Germany.
Dr. Grandi on his Covid-19 experience with cancer patients and how they can protect themselves.
Covid-19 is on everyone’s mind. What about cancer patients? People with previous illnesses have to protect themselves particularly well, including some cancer patients. We are happy to hear some insights from Dr. Maurizio Grandi today. He is an Italian oncologist and immunologist, specialized in Clinical Oncology, Immuno-Hematology, Bioethics and Phytotherapy at the Italian Universities of Turin, Ferrara and Milan and the I.P.I. in Brussels. He is Director of La Torre, a centre of study and research on diseases with high social impact as well as Director of the Master in Anthropology of Complex Systems Health Anthropology.
Dr. Grandi, which cancer patients are especially at high risk due to Covid-19?
“We can distinguish different types of patients here. First of all, the ones that are getting immunosuppressive therapy. Then, there are cancer patients with additional pulmonary diseases. It is possible that Covid-19 could be more severe for these cancer patients, compared to others. “
Are you recommending your patients to delay treatment, surgery or radiation therapy due to Covid-19?
“I recommend this only in an immunodeficiency situation. If feasible, chemotherapy can be given at home.”
What can patients and staff do to boost their immune system?
“A good way to support the immune system could be pre-, pro-, and postbiotics, which help create a healthy gut microbial diversity and prevent intestinal dysbiosis. You can take them in a dietary supplement or get through certain food sources, such as yogurt.”
Are you utilizing novel technologies to stay in touch with the patients?
“I am using telemedicine to connect with my patients and enable them to stay at home whenever possible. We communicate through messages and video conferencing and it is working very well so far. I am glad that we have the technological structures in place for this. It is a great learning to prepare for future outbreaks using novel technologies.”
Are there any other recommendations that you would have for helping cancer patients?
“There are a few points patients can consider based on their condition.
1. Participation in health promotion programs: there are many health promotion programs that inform about all kinds of topics – how to keep proper hygiene, healthy recipes or relaxing strategies.
2. Taking care of their nutrition – a balanced and healthy diet
3. Ensuring a sufficient level of movement”
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