Matthew T. Campbell, MD, MS, discusses the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in renal cell carcinoma.
Matthew T. Campbell, MD, MS, assistant professor in the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology of the Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
The median age of patients with RCC is around 65, says Campbell. Given the need to move to a largely virtual platform, patients may not be comfortable utilizing technology to communicate with health care providers and family members, Campbell explains. As such, maximizing assistance to patients in the clinic is critical. In all areas of oncology, family members play a critical role in the treatment selection process; therefore, caregivers should be allowed to call in to ask questions in real time, Campbell emphasizes.
Moreover, patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer or are starting a new treatment may not be able to digest all that is said to them regarding their options, Campbell explains. Incorporating family members into discussions with the patient ensures that appropriate treatment decisions can still be made. Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the importance of shared-decision making, be it in person or virtual, Campbell concludes.