Challenges to Treat Cancer Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic
AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic poses T several challenges for oncology services. Providers must consider how to safeguard the morbidity and mortality of their patients as well as to minimize their patients' exposure to health-care facilities. We donot have a lot of data from published studies, but a report by Liang et al. provides the largest series consisting of 1,590 patients and describes the difference in outcome between cancer and non-cancer patients. In this model, which included adjustments for age, sex, and comorbidities, cancer was associated with an increased risk of death and/or intensive care unit admission (OR 5.4, 95% CI 1.8–16.2). These patients had a higher risk of severe events that required admittance to the intensive care unit, ventilation support, or that resulted in death.1 However, caution should be taken with interpretation of this finding because the report included data from only 18 patients with cancer. So, despite being difficult to derive any conclusions from this report, it makes sense that people with cancer are at greater risk for being infected with the coronavirus as this virus is associated with the highest severity of illness in older people and those with comorbidities, such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
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