should I start chemo with the risk of getting coronavirus?

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Hi all,

I am a 24 year old diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer (paro osteosarcoma). 

i am soon to undergo chemotherapy this week to treat my bone cancer which is stage 4 and has spread to the lungs. I have been told that bone cancer is chemo resistant so there is a very low chance of the chemo working, around 20%. 

there are a lot of risks with me going ahead with the chemo given the situation with covid-19. First one being a compromised immune system which will make me more suceptible to catching the virus which can be fatal. Secondly the damage the chemo will do to my quality of life, as now I am healthy and feeling well and fine. There is also a risk that I could go through the whole chemo process and it damages my quality of life, only for it not to even work. 

However if I don't go ahead with the chemo, then there is a strong chance the cancer will grow and spread further. My cancer is very aggressive as the tumour which was taken out of my leg was High grade and now small dots are in my lungs.

I was thinking to either go ahead with the chemo now and take the risks. Or wait 4 weeks and assess the covid-19 situation to see if it dies down. However the situation is unpredictable and 4 weeks could turn to 3 months. Also worried that I start a cycle of chemo now and the rest gets cancelled due to the heightened growth of the virus. Which would also have been all for nothing.

Any advice would be helpful as my treatment is due to start this week and tomorrow I’m getting my PICC line in. If anyone could help, I would be really greatful. Thank you. 

  • Hi , I’m sorry you didn’t get a reply yesterday to this post, I was wondering how your appointment went today for your picc line. A lot of patients have some tricky decisions to make weighing up Covid-19 risk versus Cancer, I wondered if you had had an opportunity to talk through how you feel with your own medical team and how that went. I’m not a medic but a patient with a different cancer and treatment, I’m due to talk to my team about my treatment next week, though my diagnosis was in 2015 so I’ve been on treatment for a long time. 

    There’s a lot of uncertainty in your post, for which there might not be an answer for, I’ve found in the past starting treatment takes a leap of faith in the advice given and some positive resolve to make the best of where we find ourselves.

    i do hope you day has gone smoothly.

    Take care KT

  • FormerMember

    Hi Sparkle95,

    How did you get on?  What have your consultants/nurses advised.  It is such a difficult decision isn't it.  My mum is waiting for a final needle biopsy on her Thyroid but has been told she has lung cancer although we are still waiting grading/final diagnosis/treatment plan etc but we have been talking about the exact same topic.

    Should she start treatment or delay for a few weeks or will the cancer progress too much to be treatable.  What if she has high grade lung cancer, there is no way we can be separated for 12 weeks of the precious time she has left.  She too is fairly well at the moment and it seems to go against the grain to purposely make herself physically poorly.

    Lots to think about but I guess we just have to trust the consultants to advice us on all options and probable outcomes.  I guess you have to decide from your heart as this is truly what you believe and what your body will need to sustain.

    I wish you all the best and hope for some positive steps along the way for you.  Take care xxx