Is it safe to undergo major cancer surgery or other cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation , during the pandemic?
This question is the foremost in the minds of patients requiring cancer treatment especially when an operation is needed.
With the second wave of this deadly pandemic, all other health issues have taken a backseat. There is a real risk of contracting Covid due to prolonged hospitalization and multiple hospital visits especially if the hospital treats covid affected patients also.
You need not postpone your cancer treatments indefinitely because of such fears, since less intensive yet safe treatments are available for many cancers.
Remember that cancer treatments like surgery or chemotherapy can be done safely without compromising results anywhere if expertise is available. We suggest that, whenever feasible you follow standard treatment protocols at low volume Covid free centers, smaller covid free speciality hospitals or day care cancer clinics.
If such facilities are not available or personal co-morbidities do not permit, one can consider less intensive yet safe tailored treatments in the interim such as
-Hormonal therapy ex: for breast & prostate cancer
-Targeted therapy ex: for lung liver and kidney cancers
– Least toxic chemotherapy either in tablet form or by intravenous route, for many advanced cancers
– short course radio therapy
– and day care or short stay surgery etc.
Do not neglect. During the last year many patients postponed their visits to doctors, which lead to spread of cancer. Hence, Consultant your oncologist and be informed about various options tailored to your condition and stage.