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Lisa Carey, MD, FASCO

Patients undergoing cancer treatments are weighing their risk of cancer against their risk of getting COVID-19, a recent Time article reports, and recognizes National Cancer Institute predictions of how the pandemic might affect deaths from breast and colon cancers.

Lisa Carey, MD, FASCO, L. Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor for Breast Cancer Research in the division of oncology was interviewed by Time and said the pandemic has changed the therapies she offered her patients.

At the beginning of the pandemic, “for the patients whose cancers were hormone sensitive, I put them on anti-estrogen [pills] so we could tread water and keep an eye on the tumor for a couple months, while we waited for the [COVID-19] dust to settle before exposing them to an unknown level of danger of coming into the hospital for chemotherapy infusions,” said Carey, deputy director of clinical sciences at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

She explained that oral treatment, normally given before or with chemotherapy for maximum effectiveness, allowed the patients to treat their cancer and not compromise their care while avoiding exposure to the risks of COVID-19 in the hospital.

Read the article here.