Impact of COVID-19 on care of cancer patients in department of surgical oncology under the Government of Tamil Nadu: a multicentre study
Keywords:COVID-19, Cancer care, COVID in cancer surgery, Corona virus
Background: The novel corona virus has spread across world and has affected more than 200 countries and territories. The WHO declared this as ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ on January 30, 2020 and since then countries all around the world are struggling to prevent their health system from collapsing due to the heavy burden of the disease. Our study was an attempt at capturing the impact of the pandemic on care for cancer patients in surgical oncology departments of different government institutions in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.
Methods: Total of 5 institutes participated in this study and the hospital records of the department of surgical oncology of institutions were evaluated from January 2019 to May 2021. The available data from prepandemic year was collected and compared to that of pandemic year.
Results: There was a fall of 18.1% and 18.8% in the out-patient and inpatient census, 52.09% and 28.5% in laparoscopic and open surgeries during first wave. The infection rate among patients was 0.99% (42 patients) and 3.86% (58 patients) in first and second wave & that among health workers was 15.7% and 15.3%. 88.6% of doctors and 25.3% of other health care workers were vaccinated.
Conclusions: The fear of pandemic along with the measures to contain the same have disrupted care for cancer patients posing risk of disease progression and upstaging. Infection rate is high among health care personnel and vaccination coverage is suboptimal.
Epidemiology of COVID-19. Available at: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-epidemiological-update-on-covid-19-11-may-2021. Accessed on 20 November 2021.
Eurosurveillance editorial team. Note from the editors: World Health Organization declares novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) sixth public health emergency of international concern. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(5):200131e.
Subbiah S, Hussain SA, Samanth KM. Managing cancer during COVID pandemic experience of a tertiary cancer care center. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2020;7983(20):30799.
Maltezou HC, Dedoukou X, Tseroni M. SARS-CoV-2 Infection in healthcare personnel with high-risk occupational exposure: evaluation of seven-day exclusion from work policy. Clin Infect Dis. 2020;23:32-6.
Orlando MS, Chang OH, Russo MAL, Kho RM. Institutional protocols for coronavirus disease 2019 testing in elective gynecologic surgery across sites for the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons’ Surgical Outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic (SOCOVID) study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021;224(5):540-2.
Iago D, Lima C, José C, Santos S. Impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients: A review; Asia-Pasific J Clin Oncol. 2020.
Liang W, Guan W, Chen R. Cancer patients in SARS-CoV-2 infection: a nationwide analysis in China. Lancet Oncol. 2020;21(3):335-7.
Covid-19 vaccination and cancer patients. Available at: https://www.nccn.org/covid-19. Accessed on 20 November 2021.
Desai S, Gupta A. IASO COVID-19 Guidelines. Indian J Surg Oncol. 2020;11(2):171-4.
Priya R, Sengar M, Chinnaswamy G, Agrawal G, Arumugham R, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on cancer care in India: a cohort study. Lancet Oncol. 2021;22(7):970-6.
Dmitri N, Omar MO, Glasbey JC, Elizabeth L, Joana FFS, et al. COVID surg Collaborative. Collaborative Elective surgery cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic: global predictive modelling to inform surgical recovery plans. Br J Surg. 2020;107:1440-9.
Dragos S, Smarandache CG, Tudor C, Duta LN, Dascalu AM, Aliuș C. Laparoscopic Surgery in COVID-19 Era-Safety and ethical issues. Diagnostics. 2020;10(9):673.
Jing Y, Wen O, Melvin LK, Chua, Conghua X. SARS-CoV-2 transmission in patients with cancer at a tertiary care hospital in Wuhan, China. JAMA Oncol. 2020;6(7):1108-10.
Berger JM, Gansterer M, Trutschnig W, Bathke AC, Strasslb M, Wolfgang L, et al. SARS-CoV-2 screening in cancer outpatients during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic conclusions for crisis response at a high-volume oncology center. JAMA Oncol. 2020.
Rajesh R, Aryan S, Verma MK. Characterization of the second wave of COVID-19 in India. BMJ. 2007;23:32.
Keep health workers safe to keep patients safe. Available at: https://www.who.int/news/item/17-09-2020-keep-health-workers-safe-to-keep-patients-safe-who. Accessed on 20 November 2021.
James TL, Althomsons SP, Hsiu W, Budnitz DS, Kalayil EJ. Disparities in COVID-19 vaccination coverage among health care personnel working in long-term care facilities, by job category, National Healthcare Safety Network United States March 2021. Health care J. 2020;70(30);1036-9.
Fırat T, Sinem K, Chinara A, Rafet Y, Murat YH. Delayed presentation of head and neck cancer patients during COVID-19 pandemic. Eur Arch Oto-Rhino-Laryngol. 2021;278:5081-5.
Amirmohsen J, Mohammad S, Habibollah M, Ramesh O, Amirhossein P, Amirsina S. One public health crisis into many others: the impact of COVID-19 on upstaging of gastric cancer research square. Eur Arch Oto-Rhino-Laryngol. 2021;23:43-9.
Haar J, Hoes LR, Coles CE, Seamon K, Fröhling S. Caring for patients with cancer in the COVID-19 era. Nature Med. 2020;26:665-71.