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Cancer Care Management during the Coronavirus Era

Most cancer treatments and clinical trials have either been put on hold or postponed during the COVID 19 pandemic. This is because both newly diagnosed and metastatic disease patients are afraid of getting infected.

Right now, COVID-19 has become the leading cause of death globally, overshadowing Ischemic heart disease and cancer. This is due to the speed at which the SARS-CoV-2 virus is spreading and lack of treatment or vaccine.

Treatment choices for newly diagnosed cancer patients are now limited due to COVID-19. Many patients are self-isolating for fear of infection. Cancer is deadly, and everyone knows it. But the new threat – COVID-19 still has no data attached to it, yet it’s proliferating as seen from the analysis from many nations across the world.

Researchers are sparing no effort to find treatment and vaccination in clinical response to the deadly coronavirus. Some have launched a cancer and COVID-19 patient registry to track treatments and outcomes in patients with COVID-19 infection.

The registry will help protect immunosuppressed patients and cancer staff. If they get infected, cancer patients are at high risk of severe complications. It is essential for these patients to avoid COVID-19 at all costs.

Oncologists are trying to reinvent cancer care during this COVID-19 era by rescheduling visits, surgeries, and noncritical procedures and using telemedicine where applicable. Now they are opting for oral medications in place of infusions and trying to get to high-risk cancer patients to keep them out of the ER and away from harm.

It’s necessary to delay patient treatment and prevention screening procedures such as colonoscopies, mammograms, and bone density tests at this time and only use the operating room for critical cases. Total triaging is the only way to help minimize infection.

A lot of organizations have had to tweak treatment guidelines and cancer care management plans for the COVID-19 pandemic. A delay in treatment is for every patient’s interest. The new recommendations advise on the use of biologics known as granulocyte colony-stimulating factors, to boost the patient’s white cell count while on chemo. This will reduce their chances of infection.

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