Care Delivery Impact of The COVID-19 Pandemic Among Cancer Patients

Melissa Accordino, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, Division of Hematology/Oncology

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the delivery of healthcare nationwide. The impact on the delivery of oncologic care has not yet been characterized. Oncologists must navigate practice reductions due to resource shortages and infection control measures, compromising the ability to provide surgical and radiation therapy. Also concerning is the widespread prevalence of a viral pneumonia that could prove fatal to patients facing chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression. In order to address these rapidly evolving challenges, cancer treatment plans have been altered to limit patient exposure. There are few established guidelines for this sort of care. As such, characterizing the experience and methods of this cancer center, in the epicenter of nationwide pandemic, is of importance.