Overview of care for head and neck cancer cases in Brazilian Cancer Centers during the COVID-19 pandemic
Sergio Gonçalves, Marco Aurélio Vamondes Kulcsar, Leandro Luongo de Matos, José Guilherme Vartanian, Genival Barbosa de Carvalho, Fernando Luiz Dias, Terence Pires de Farias, Emilio Tosto Neto, Carlos Roberto dos Santos, Lucas Gomes Silva, Afonso do Carmo Javaroni, Gyl Henrique Albrecht Ramos, Beatriz Godoy Cavalheiro, José Carlos de Oliveira, Rafael de Cicco, Luiz Eduardo Barbalho de Mello, Bartolomeu Cavalcanti de Melo Junior, Luiz Roberto Medina dos Santos, Rafael Nunes Goulart, Luiz Paulo Kowalski
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on health systems worldwide. The important measures taken aiming to control the pandemic have harmfully influenced the diagnosis and treatment of other diseases, including cancer. Objective: To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Brazilian head and neck (H&N) oncology reference services. Methods: This cross-sectional study evaluated data on the number of outpatient consultations, operations and infected physicians collected in 13 Brazilian Cancer Centers. Results: 10% of the H&N surgeons had COVID-19 infection. Significant reduction in the average number of new treated cases (39.9%), consultations (63.1%) and surgeries (35.1%) was observed in April 2020 compared with those of the same period in 2019. Conclusion: There was significant impairment in the delivery of care to H&N cancer patients during a month of pandemic. The observed reduction is expected to persist in the coming months and will require institutional efforts to adequately meet the demand imposed during the pandemic period.
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