Neutropenia and management of cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords:COVID-19, cancer screening, neutropenia
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the management of patients with cancer. Due to the quarantine restrictions imposed to some extent around the world, it was necessary to modify treatment regimens by reducing the number of sessions of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as by postponing surgery. The volume of cancer screening has also been reduced. All this, from our point of view, in the long run may not have a very positive effect on the course of treatment and prognosis of cancer. Therefore, doctors today are constantly faced with the task of maintaining the effectiveness of treatment of malignant neoplasms, on the one hand, and reducing the risk of coronavirus — on the other, because, according to many sources, cancer patients are at risk of adverse COVID-19 course. This is especially true for patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. In this article we wanted to demonstrate the latest approaches to the management of cancer patients in this difficult period. We also considered the options for wider use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors to prevent neutropenia in the COVID-19 era. It is still controversy about this in the medical scientific community. Unfortunately, the data available today are not enough to make unambiguous statements about a particular patient management, but by analyzing the large number of publications made during the pandemic year, as well as updated National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, we were able to answer most of the questions that interest us.
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