If you're diagnosed with terminal cancer, contract  an infection and die, isn't the cause of death cancer?

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  • LAN
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    No.  You may survive either one on its own but the combination of the two is what killed you.

  • 1 month ago

    It depends on whether the infection was related to cancer or not.  For example consider a guy with brain cancer that is untreatable and he gets COVID-19 and then dies from pneumonia.  The cause of death would be recorded with pneumonia, with COVID-19 as the cause of the pneumonia.  The certificate may mention that the person had brain cancer, but this information would not be required since the infection was not related to the brain.   

    Consider a person with leukemia and their immune system is severely weakened by it.  If they developed an infection and died, the cause of death would still be from infection, but leukemia would be listed as a factor contributing to the fatal infection if the medical examiner or attending doctor had information showing that the immune system was not working due to the cancer. 

  • 1 month ago

    No.  Cause of death is the final thing that caused a death, notwithstanding a person's medical condition. In your example, for instance, the person would probably have continued to live for a while with the cancer, but the infection was the final straw that killed him.  Cause of death does not include contributing factors.

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