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Michael R. Charlton, MD, MBBS, discusses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on hepatocellular carcinoma.
Michael R. Charlton, MD, MBBS, professor of medicine, director, Center for Liver Diseases, and co-director, Transplant Institute, University of Chicago Medicine, discusses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, going into the hospital was reserved for patients who required immediate care and essential staff, says Charlton. Now, more than a year since the start of the pandemic, the hospital setting is functioning as normal, Charlton explains.
However, at the height of the pandemic, many individuals were not comfortable coming into the hospital for HCC screening or did not go to the emergency room for potential HCC-related symptoms, Charlton explains. As such, it is likely that an increased number of patients will present with later-stage HCC, Charlton says. Moreover, these patients will require treatment with immunotherapy or systemic therapy vs curative-intent options, concludes Charlton.