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Women with breast cancer have a higher risk of severe dengue, warns SBM

The Brazilian Society of Mastology (SBM) issued a worrying warning, revealing that women with breast cancer, especially those undergoing oncological treatments, face a significantly higher risk of developing severe dengue fever.

Patients undergoing cancer treatment

The mastologist, assistant treasurer and member of the Department of Systemic Treatment at SBM, André Mattar, highlights that the immunity of these patients tends to be lower, making them vulnerable to more severe forms of the disease. Dengue has already reached more than 1.6 million cases in Brazil, with more than 400 confirmed deaths. Given this epidemic, the possibility of dengue contamination is a cause for great concern, especially for women undergoing breast cancer treatment.

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Chemotherapy and radiotherapy, essential procedures in the fight against cancer, negatively impact the immune system, increasing the risk of serious complications: “Dengue fever can be more severe in these patients, and, eventually, measures against cancer need to be temporarily suspended to preserve the patient’s general health”explains Mattar.

Compromised immune system

Treatment for dengue in patients with breast cancer follows the same principles, medications to alleviate symptoms, adequate hydration and rest, however, it is crucial to monitor possible complications, as chemotherapy can affect the patients' liver, worsening in case of of dengue infection.

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To protect themselves from dengue, it is essential that patients are aware of the symptoms and avoid exposure to the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the virus. Headache, pain behind the eyes, fever, fatigue, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting are signs to watch out for. Awareness and vigilance are essential to preserve the health of these vulnerable women.

Featured Photo: October is dedicated to the breast cancer awareness campaign (Reproduction/Igor Alecsander/Getty Images)

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Women with breast cancer have a higher risk of severe dengue, warns SBM

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