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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 461-467

A critical review of outcomes of cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic

Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Tata Memorial Center and HBNI, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi
Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmpo.ijmpo_187_20

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The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has created an alarming fear, apprehension, and worry world over. Cancer patients represent a subgroup that is vulnerable and is under high risk. It is, therefore, necessary to analyze factors that predict outcomes in these patients so that they can be triaged accordingly in order to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on cancer management. To determine the factors affecting cancer patients in COVID-19. A systematic search was performed to identify all relevant studies on PubMed, Embase, and Google Scholar published until April 5, 2020. Relevant articles that reported the incidence, demographic and clinical characteristics, treatment, and outcomes of cancer patients infected by COVID-19 were included in the analysis. Among 559 articles that were further screened, 14 articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The incidence of cancer across various studies ranged from 0.5% to 2.43%. Males were more than females, and the mean age affected was 63.1–66 years. Lung cancer was the most common subtype (25%–58.3%). Cancer patients, as reported, had a higher risk of progressing to severe events (hazard ratio:3.56, 95% confidence interval: 1.65–7.69; P < 0.0001). Nearly 39%–53.6% of patients who had a recent history of anticancer therapy developed severe events. Individuals with cancer feared the risk of complications. Cancer patients have worse outcomes from COVID-19, compared to the general population, providing a reason to pay more timely attention. High-risk patients should have vigorous screening and intensive surveillance. Anticancer treatment during COVID-19 should be modified based on the type and prognosis of cancer.

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