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Disruptions in Cancer Health Care Due to COVID-19

Since the long years of prevailing pandemic situation, studies are done to analyze the disruptions in cancer healthcare. Early breast cancer patients newly diagnosed and treated at our facility during the COVID19 pandemic do not have to wait longer to start treatment than patients in previous years.

 The expansion of the Penn  Cancer Care Innovation Center’s home cancer care program, which includes hormone therapy to treat some breast cancers, has also allowed patients to continue treatment. 

 While the impact will not be fully understood for some time, cancer screening rates in the United States rebounded significantly in July to near pre-COVID levels as people became more distant. A recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. 

 The concept of value in treatment of cancer, with the sole aim to focus on providing treatments that will be beneficial to  patients, according to authors in an international study.

 Evaluation of desired changes in cancer care due to COVID19. That’s not to say the pandemic hasn’t had a significant impact on cancer care in Penn and everywhere else.

Delays And Disruptions In Cancer Health Care Due To COVID-19 Pandemic: Systematic Review

We looked at all kinds of delays and disruptions in cancer services, including delays in presentation, diagnosis, and timely referrals throughout the patient journey, which are classified as follows: delay or interruption of diagnosis, delay or interruption of treatment, and disruption of cancer services. 

 Additional unstructured research was performed in the following cancer specialist resources: ASCO Meeting Library, ASCO Coronavirus Resources, COVID19 and Cancer Taskforce Global Modeling Consortium, 8 ESMO COVID19 and Cancer, 9 Agencies International Cancer Research Research IARC at the intersection of cancer and COVID19, 10 and the International Coalition Against Cancer. 

Analysis included 62 studies measuring at least one delay or interruption of cancer health care during the pandemic situation. 

 Recent WHO Maintenance of Essential Health Services: an operational guide for the COVID19 context provides a list of sample indicators to monitor the maintenance of essential health services during the COVID19 pandemic, including new cancer diagnoses. 

 The frequency of delays and disruptions in cancer care due to the COVID19 pandemic is expected to be higher in LMICs due to the underlying capacity to deliver essential health services against cancer and absorption capacity. 

 In conclusion, this review identified key delays and disruptions in cancer healthcare due to COVID19 that were addressed and measured by 62 major studies. 

 Quinlan C, Gill R, Murphy M: Raising melanoma awareness among health and social service professionals in secondary care at a time of reduced skin cancer referrals due to COVID19.

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