Review on the Oncology Practice in the Midst of COVID-19 Crisis: The Challenges and Solutions

Document Type: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Authors

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Clinical Oncology, Shohada-e Tajrish Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Cancer Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.

5 Kagawa Nutrition University, Saitama, Japan.

6 Department of Clinical Oncology, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

7 Shohada Tajrish Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

8 Department of Clinical Oncology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

As of late 2019, the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) –that started in China– has rapidly afflicted all over the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged health-care facilities to provide optimal care. In this context, cancer care requires special attention because of its peculiar status by including patients who are commonly immunocompromised and treatments that are often highly toxic. In this review article, we have classified the main impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on oncology practices –followed by their solutions– into ten categories, including impacts on (1) health care providers, (2) medical equipment, (3) access to medications, (4) treatment approaches, (5) patients’ referral, (6) patients’ accommodation, (7) patients’ psychological health, (8) cancer research, (9) tumor board meetings, and (10) economic income of cancer centers. The effective identification and management of all these challenges will improve the standards of cancer care over the viral pandemic and can be a practical paradigm for possible future crises.
 

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