Management of colorectal cancer in the era of COVID-19: Challenges and suggestions

Type Journal Article - Science Progress
Title Management of colorectal cancer in the era of COVID-19: Challenges and suggestions
Volume 104
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2021
Page numbers 003685042110106
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a huge impact on all sectors around the world. In particular, the healthcare system has been subject to an enormous pressure that has surpassed its ability in many instances. Additionally, the pandemic has called for a review of our daily medical practices, including our approach to colorectal cancer management where treatment puts patients at high risk of virus exposure. Given their higher median age, patients are at an increased risk for severe symptoms and complications in cases of infection, especially in the setting of immunosuppression. Therefore, a review of the routine colorectal cancer practices is needed to minimize risk of exposure. Oncologists should weigh risk of exposure versus the patient's oncologic benefits when approaching management. In addition, treatment protocols should be modified to minimize hospital visits and admissions while maintaining the same treatment efficacy. In this review, we will focus on challenges that colorectal cancer patients face during the pandemic, while highlighting the priority in each case. We will also discuss the evidence for potential modifications to existing treatment plans that could reduce infectious exposure without compromising care. Finally, we will discuss the impact of the socio-economic difficulties faced by Lebanese patients due to a poor economy toppled by an unexpected pandemic.

Related studies