Background: COVID-19 outbreak has adversely affected care of breast cancer patients world-wide. There is paucity of available data on cancer management in lower-middle income countries during this pandemic, we sought to determine the institutional approach towards management of breast cancer patients and the outcomes during COVID-19 pandemic at our institution.
Materials and methods: Clinicopathological and treatment record of cancer patients who presented to the Breast Clinic from 15th March to 31st December 2020 was retrieved from the institutional database for this retrospective clinical observational study.
Results: A total of 292 patients were qualified for the analysis in which 206 patients (70.5%) underwent breast cancer surgeries. Only 10 of them (4.9%) were identified to be COVID-19 virus positive on routine pre-operative RT-PCR test before elective surgeries. All were asymptomatic, received home-based care via telecommunication and were operated at a later date when test turned out negative. None of them developed any complications post-operatively. Another group of 86 patients (29.5%) were referred for Neoadjuvant/Systemic chemotherapy in which COVID-19 infection was detected in only 4 patients (4.6%) while receiving cycles. Two patients shown symptoms of cough and fever hence hospitalised but were not candidates for Intensive Care Unit admission while other two patient were asymptomatic and isolated at home. All patients recovered well and chemotherapy was commenced again after negative RT-PCR test. No mortality was observed.
Conclusion: Despite of being a global crisis particularly for cancer patients we observed infectivity, complications and fatality much lower among breast cancer cases. Further research is needed in this regard including public and private sector hospitals for better understanding behavior of COVID-19 disease and achieve common goal to combat COVID-19 and cancer together.
Publication ( Name of Journal)
Annals of Medicine and Surgery
Vohra, L. M.,
(2021). COVID-19 pandemic and breast cancer management: A retrospective observational clinical study from Pakistan. Annals of Medicine and Surgery, 63, 102151.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_surg_gen/104
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