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AdventHealth Doctors Encourage Cancer Patients to Get Vaccinated During Chemotherapy, Before Surgery

Photo: Angiola Harry
Photo: Angiola Harry

AdventHealth doctors say it’s safe for cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or having surgery to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

AdventHealth Executive Medical Director of Digestive Health and Surgery Dr. John Monson says he tells his colon cancer patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Monson says it’s not harmful in any way ahead of surgical procedures or during chemotherapy and radiation. 

And he says if anything it might offer additional protection against the virus along with COVID-19 tests that surgical patients must pass before being admitted to hospital.

“But we want to create a level of protection for our patients. Many of whom have underlying conditions like cancer or IBS where they’re vulnerable.”

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Monson says people shouldn’t skip their routine colonoscopy either out of fear of catching the virus. He says colon cancer is a preventable and curable cancer if caught early. 

“Patients who get screened and have screen detected cancers. That are a little later. Their survival rate is much better because more than 90 percent of those patients are cured. So get your colonoscopy. It saves lives.”

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Monson says he’s diagnosed more late-stage colon cancers recently as people forgo the screenings during the pandemic.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.