Published time: 01 April 2020
Authors: Zhijie Wang, Jie Wang, Jie He,
Keywords: Cancer, Covid-19, high risk, treatment
Abstract : Recently, an outbreak of the highly infectious novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has swept Wuhan, China, with 80 303 confirmed diagnosed cases in China as of March 3, 2020.1 Considering its high risk of person-to-person transmission, hospitals, especially in China, are the typical congregating places that will bear the brunt of this infectious disease. To reduce or avoid cross infection of COVID-19, many hospitals have started taking actions to limit the number of outpatient visits and inpatient admissions. For example, only emergency surgeries can be guaranteed, while most others are postponed. Maintenance chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy treatments for patients with advanced cancer are often suspended. However, forced delays or interruptions of routine treatment might increase the risk of disease deterioration, especially for patients with cancer. In China, approximately 4.3 million cases of cancer are diagnosed each year.2 During the epidemic of COVID-19, the treatment of patients with cancer, which is often considered as nonemergent, is inevitably affected across China, especially in Wuhan. As a result of powerful prevention and control measures, the spread of COVID-19 has been gradually controlled. However, cases have been diagnosed in a number of countries outside of China, especially in South Korea and Iran, leading to a global outbreak. As of March 3, 2020, newly diagnosed cases and deaths owing to COVID-19 had occurred in nearly 70 countries or regions, including South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan, Germany, Singapore, Spain, and the US, with a total of 11 953 confirmed cases.3 The insidious onset (which can manifest without any obvious clinical symptoms, such as fever, in the early phase) and long incubation period (up to 24 days4) indicate the strong transmissibility of COVID-19. The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 to be a “public health emergency of international concern.”5 Therefore, it may have a worldwide influence on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer.
Active and Effective Measures for the Care of Patients With Cancer During the COVID-19 Spread in China