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Cancer and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—Facing the “C Words”

Educational Objective
To understand the similarities of emotional support needs in patients with cancer and COVID
1 Credit CME

Until now, most people feared a diagnosis with the dreaded “C word”—cancer—owing to its associated physical, emotional, and financial hardships as well as its social stigma. However, the rapid progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from a local issue to a global pandemic has quickly made it a competitor for the spot of the most feared disease, and rightly so, given the intense strain it is placing on us individually and as a society at every level. For me, having been diagnosed with both diseases 4 years apart, COVID-19 has brought back memories of being confronted with my own mortality.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Urvi A. Shah, MD, Myeloma Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 530 East 74th Street, New York, NY, 10021 (shahu@mskcc.org).

Published Online: May 7, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.1848

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Shah reported grants from Celgene and the Parker Institute of Cancer Immunotherapy and personal fees from the Physicians Education Resource.

References
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2.
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Liang  W , Guan  W , Chen  R ,  et al.  Cancer patients in SARS-CoV-2 infection: a nationwide analysis in China.   Lancet Oncol. 2020;21(3):335-337.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Onder  G , Rezza  G , Brusaferro  S .  Case-fatality rate and characteristics of patients dying in relation to COVID-19 in Italy.   JAMA. Published online March 23, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4683PubMedGoogle Scholar
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The COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium. Accessed April 27, 2020. https://ccc19.org/
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ASH Research Collaborative. ASH RC COVID-19 Registry for Hematologic Malignancy. Accessed April 27, 2020. https://www.ashresearchcollaborative.org/covid-19-registry
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Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research COVID-19 data collection form. Accessed April 30, 2020. https://www.cibmtr.org/Covid19/Pages/default.aspx
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