Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in cancer patients
Cancarevic I, Tathineni P, Malik BH. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Cancer Patients. Cureus. 2020;12(4):e7835. doi: 10.7759/cureus.7835.
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become the most talked-about clinical entity in early 2020. As an infection that spreads easily and has a significant mortality rate, it has caused global panic rarely seen before. Many of the measures taken by governments worldwide will have long-lasting impacts on the wellbeing of the population at large. It has been widely reported that the most vulnerable patients have been most negatively affected by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). In this study, we have tried to search the currently available data on the outcomes of infected cancer patients. Most of the data points to the very challenging nature of treating such patients. Their overall outcomes seem to be worse than in the general population, and it may be difficult to differentiate which potential complications are a result of the primary oncologic disease versus the infection. Management presents its own set of challenges, including but not limited to, deciding whether postponing cancer treatment until the infection resolves is going to benefit the patient and how to organize all aspects of patient care when social contact is as limited as it is for patients newly diagnosed with COVID-19. We believe that as more data becomes available, it is going to be necessary to publish detailed guidelines on how to approach this unique clinical challenge.