Jose Maria Mazarico Gallego, MD, discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care in Spain.
Jose Maria Mazarico Gallego, MD, of the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre in Madrid, Spain, discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care in Spain.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer care providers attempted to minimize the number of patients coming to the hospital for treatment in order to avoid potential exposure to the virus, Gallego says. As such, it was important to identify ways in which treatment could be optimized, such as double dosing with immunotherapy or skipping treatments for patients who would not experience a significant impact on outcomes or quality of life by doing so, Gallego explains.
Additionally, telehealth services were utilized more often in order to avoid unnecessary hospital visits for patients with cancer, Gallego notes. For example, patients who originally needed to come into the institution for a follow-up on their CT scan, if their were no changes in the scan, the patient could then be contacted via the phone in order to share updates. Delays in cancer diagnosis were also due to the pandemic, Gallego concludes.