If someone is diagnosed with cancer, he stressed, "There is no need to postpone treatment. If a woman has cancer in a breast, it must be removed and she should go to a hospital where she can be safely treated."
Dr. David E. Cohn, chief medical officer at Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center, said we saw “a significant decrease in new patients in the first few months of the pandemic. Even some patients with symptoms were afraid to come in or couldn't even see their doctors because the offices were closed. This could lead to delayed diagnosis, more complex care, and possibly a poorer outcome. "
But he said his center has since returned to baseline, suggesting that despite the surge in Covid-19 cases, few cancer patients remain undetected and untreated.
"We have creatively adapted Covid" to maximize patient safety, said Dr. Cohn in an interview. "For certain types of cancer, we did not operate on patients in advance, but first treated them with radiation and chemotherapy and operated later," when the hospital facilities and staff were less stressed and the patients could be better protected from the virus.
The coronavirus outbreak>
Things to know about testing
Confused by Coronavirus Testing Conditions? Let us help:
- antibody: A protein produced by the immune system that can recognize and attach to certain types of viruses, bacteria or other invaders.
- Antibody test / serology test: A test that detects antibodies specific to the coronavirus. About a week after the coronavirus infects the body, antibodies begin to appear in the blood. Because antibodies take so long to develop, an antibody test cannot reliably diagnose an ongoing infection. However, it can identify people who have been exposed to the coronavirus in the past.
- Antigen test: This test detects parts of coronavirus proteins called antigens. Antigen tests are quick and only take five minutes. However, they are less accurate than tests that detect genetic material from the virus.
- Coronavirus: Any virus that belongs to the Orthocoronavirinae virus family. The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is known as SARS-CoV-2.
- Covid19: The disease caused by the new coronavirus. The name stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019.
- Isolation and quarantine: Isolation is separating people who know they have a contagious disease from those who are not sick. Quarantine refers to restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a virus.
- Nasopharyngeal smear: A long, flexible rod with a soft swab that is inserted deep into the nose to collect samples from the space where the nasal cavity meets the throat. Samples for coronavirus tests can also be obtained with swabs that do not go as deep into the nose – sometimes called nasal swabs – or with mouth or throat swabs.
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): Scientists use PCR to make millions of copies of genetic material in a sample. With the help of PCR tests, researchers can detect the coronavirus even when it is scarce.
- Viral load: The amount of virus in a person's body. In people infected with the coronavirus, viral loads can peak before symptoms, if any.
Dr. Cohn said certain types of supportive care can be offered remotely to cancer patients and their families – even genetic counseling, when a DNA sample is sent in. However, he added, “The majority of cancer treatment must be done in person. Monitoring of cancer patients is best done through face-to-face visits. "
Now that the virus has spread across the country, many medical centers could be forced to re-restrict elections that are not considered urgent. Dr. However, Sleckman said, "Cancer treatment is not optional – it is urgent and should not be delayed."
Learning that one has cancer, even if it is early and potentially very curable, can affect a person's ability to cope with adversity even more if the diagnosis is made in the midst of an already stressful and frightening pandemic.