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Delayed urologic cancer care in the COVID‐19 pandemic: Patients' experiences

Delayed urologic cancer care in the COVID‐19 pandemic: Patients' experiences INTRODUCTIONSince its first case in December of 2019, the COVID‐19 pandemic has greatly affected healthcare delivery. During the winter of 2020, hospitals and health systems adapted to handle the effects of the pandemic by restructuring physical spaces, including operating and recovery rooms, to accommodate patients with COVID‐19. Cancer surgeries were deemed ‘elective’ and were delayed if the risk of contracting a potentially lethal infection in the hospital outweighed the risk of delay (American College of Surgeons, 2020). As a result, many patients with cancer experienced delays in their treatment (Rosenbaum, 2020).The urologic oncologic community quickly developed guidelines for treatment deferrals of genitourinary (GU) cancers, suggesting that those with low‐grade non‐muscle‐invasive bladder cancer, low‐, intermediate‐ and high‐risk prostate cancer and T1 renal masses were unlikely to suffer from treatment delay (Campi et al., 2020; Russell et al., 2020; Tachibana et al., 2020; Wallis et al., 2020). While these decisions may have been oncologically safe, they added stress to patients' already stressful experience of being diagnosed with cancer.Even prior to the pandemic, cancer patients reported psychological distress related to diagnostic testing, wait times, navigating the challenges of specialty care referrals and scheduling treatment (Paul et al., 2012). Patients with GU cancers are not immune to these issues; the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Cancer Care Wiley

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN
0961-5423
eISSN
1365-2354
DOI
10.1111/ecc.13677
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

INTRODUCTIONSince its first case in December of 2019, the COVID‐19 pandemic has greatly affected healthcare delivery. During the winter of 2020, hospitals and health systems adapted to handle the effects of the pandemic by restructuring physical spaces, including operating and recovery rooms, to accommodate patients with COVID‐19. Cancer surgeries were deemed ‘elective’ and were delayed if the risk of contracting a potentially lethal infection in the hospital outweighed the risk of delay (American College of Surgeons, 2020). As a result, many patients with cancer experienced delays in their treatment (Rosenbaum, 2020).The urologic oncologic community quickly developed guidelines for treatment deferrals of genitourinary (GU) cancers, suggesting that those with low‐grade non‐muscle‐invasive bladder cancer, low‐, intermediate‐ and high‐risk prostate cancer and T1 renal masses were unlikely to suffer from treatment delay (Campi et al., 2020; Russell et al., 2020; Tachibana et al., 2020; Wallis et al., 2020). While these decisions may have been oncologically safe, they added stress to patients' already stressful experience of being diagnosed with cancer.Even prior to the pandemic, cancer patients reported psychological distress related to diagnostic testing, wait times, navigating the challenges of specialty care referrals and scheduling treatment (Paul et al., 2012). Patients with GU cancers are not immune to these issues; the

Journal

European Journal of Cancer CareWiley

Published: Nov 1, 2022

Keywords: COVID‐19; genitourinary cancer; psychological distress; treatment delay

References