Do not delay cancer treatment, say doctors

Patients with cancer should get the COVID-19 vaccine after consulting their oncologists, said doctors at The Hindu’s Wellness webinar, and also emphasised the need to not delay treatment any longer than necessary.

The webinar, titled ‘Cancer Care During the Pandemic’, presented by Kauvery Hospital, had as panellists A.N. Vaidhyswaran, director and senior consultant radiation oncologist, Kauvery Hospital, Chennai; B. Anis, consultant surgical oncologist, Kauvery Hospital, Tiruchi, and Arvind Krishnamurthy, professor and head of surgical oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar.

Speaking about how cancer care was handled during the pandemic, Dr. Vaidhyswaran explained that the hospital put in place a protocol that took into account patient and staff safety.

Emergency measures

Staggering of patients, using telemedicine and shortening of treatment time wherever possible were some of the measures put in place, he said.

Dr. Anis spoke about the challenges faced in continuing cancer care during the first wave of the pandemic and its impact on patients, such as the suspension of screening programmes. “We should encourage cancer patients and their family members to get the vaccine,” he said, and stressed the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Addressing the issue of treatment, Dr. Krishnamurthy said evidence indicated that delays led to higher risks.

“If any person in the community has shown certain symptoms of cancer, do not hesitate to go to your doctor or the hospital,” Dr. Krishnamurthy said.

Queries on measures to be taken in cases of a cancer patient and a COVID-19 patient in the same home, the benefits of yoga for cancer patients, and the need for community screening programmes were among those addressed.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 7:23:14 PM |

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