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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-77

Impact of covid-19 on cancer care – A single institution experience – Government Arignar Anna Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Institute (RCC), Kanchipuram

Department of Radiation Oncology, Government Arignar Anna Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Institute (RCC), Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
I M Jarfin
Department of Radiation Oncology, Government Arignar Anna Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Institute (RCC), 21–22 A, AMJ Bhavan, Putharivilai, Parakadai, Kuzhicode (P.O), Kanniyakumari District, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bjoc.bjoc_6_21

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Background: COVID-19 has impacted health care all over the world. In this article, we will discuss how the pandemic has influenced daily practice and treatment protocols in cancer care in our institution, during the course of its two waves, i.e., from March to September 2020 and March to June 2021. Materials and Methods: Several measures were taken to ensure safety and treatment of cancer patients. Setting up of isolation wards, admission of all patients for treatment, increasing radiotherapy machine ‘on time’, periodic sanitation, treatment area hygiene, personal protection equipments for medical personnel were some of them. Changes were made in radiotherapy, medical oncology, surgical oncology and anaesthesia practices. Patients who became COVID positive were managed in a Covid Care Centre, outside the premises of our institution. Results: The number of patients treated and procedures done in our institution during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 was much lower compared to the same time period in 2019. But that was not the case with the second wave in 2021. Among the health care workers who tested positive for the virus during the two waves, none required hospitalization and no deaths occurred. Conclusion: Covid-19 has definitely influenced our cancer care for a transient period during the first wave. Modifications in treatment procedures were done only for a short period before we switched back to standard department protocols. With the onset of the second wave, taking previous wave’s experiences into consideration, measures were taken to ensure safe and continuous cancer treatment delivery.

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