Cancer survivorship care at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

In 2006, the United States Institute of Medicine published a seminal report entitled “From cancer patient to cancer survivor: lost in transition”,1 which articulated the unique challenges faced by cancer survivors after completion of treatment. The report has since informed the delivery of survivorship care in many countries including Australia.2 The emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic has now presented cancer survivors with new challenges, but also new opportunities to improve their care.
The pandemic has changed lives overnight, bringing a collective sense of grief, lack of control and fear of the unknown — feelings very familiar to those who have lived through cancer. The Australian health care system has quickly stepped up to develop a framework for rational planning of cancer care. Guidance on how to prioritise cancer treatment has been developed.3 Telemedicine was adopted to reduce face‐to‐face consultations. Patient resources conveyed a consistent message of “we are here for you”.4 Although many challenges remain, such as access to clinical trials, in general, acute cancer care in Australia seems like business as usual.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-108.e1
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Volume213
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • COVID-19
  • Health services research
  • Infectious diseases
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Telemedicine

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