As concerns about the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, its impact is being felt within the community of mesothelioma patients and researchers alike. As medical professionals take measures to protect already vulnerable patients from exposure to those who may unknowingly carry the virus, researchers working towards a cure for the rare and fatal form of cancer have announced that they have postponed their annual conference scheduled for early April.
Notable Mesothelioma Researchers Postpone Annual Conference
According to an announcement published earlier this week, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation had originally scheduled their annual International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma for April 6th and 7thin San Antonio, Texas. No new date has been set as of yet for the meeting, which is attended by a wide range of stakeholders including patients, researchers, physicians, attorneys, and activists.
Speaking to the reason for the cancellation, a notification on the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation read, “This decision comes after careful deliberation and consultation with experts in the medical field who focus on care of mesothelioma patients as well as new information regarding the risk to patients with thoracic malignancies. Our patient population is at the highest risk for complications from possible infection with the virus, so this course of action seems most responsible.”
Virus Poses Significant Risk to Mesothelioma Patients
The coronavirus was declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11th, but it was already a cause for significant concern for mesothelioma patients, whose fragile physical condition automatically puts them at the highest risk for suffering complications from the disease.
While the majority of the population has been advised to practice social distancing and increase attention to handwashing, those with malignant mesothelioma, who are often elderly, are particularly vulnerable and need to take special precautions, especially if they are undergoing chemotherapy treatments that further weaken their immune systems.
If you are a mesothelioma patient or have a loved one who has the disease and you need information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.