April 14, 2020

Oncology Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In just a few short weeks, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has transformed health care delivery around the globe. The crisis has dismantled how care is delivered and forced clinicians to make difficult triage decisions about what types and components of care have limited immediate value and which are essential for optimal outcomes. Because some malignancies could pose an immediate threat to survival, cancer provides a lens into the major shifts currently underway in clinical care. Cancer and cancer-related treatments frequently cause immunosuppression, and patients with cancer have excess mortality risk from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The magnitude of this risk is not yet known but early reports suggest a substantial increased risk of death associated with COVID-19 infection among patients with cancer, perhaps highest among those older than 60 years and those with pulmonary compromise.

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