As the whole world is facing the covid pandemic, approach to all aspects of our life has seen a drastic change. So is the approach of healthcare providers towards diseases other than covid. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cancer care globally, the consequences of which are still not well understood. Through the lens of the impact in India, we emphasize the importance of continuing cancer care even during extenuating public health circumstances, and of strengthening health systems as a global priority.

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Cancer patients who have been diagnosed recently or are undergoing treatment feel themselves to be more vulnerable. Those treated for cancer in past are also concerned. This anxiety combined with social media that is flooded with inaccurate information is adding to the confusion and anxiety I want to assure cancer patients that for most of the cancer patients, treatment can continue as planned while others may need some modifications in the treatment sequence or intensity. I agree that cancer patients currently under treatment are more susceptible to get COVID-19 infection which could be more serious and have a worse outcome as compared to the normal population. It should be understood that diabetic, hypertensive (high BP), and those having heart problems have a worse outcome as compared to cancer patients if they catch COVID-19 infection. Any combination of these diseases does increase the risk of complications further.

General Measures
• It is essential to maintain social distance and practice personal hygiene • Sanitization of home/workplace at regular intervals • Wear mask indoors as well as outdoors • Self isolates if someone in the family is having a cough, cold, fever etc. • Keep a watch for any abnormal symptom and report to your doctor

Cancer Treatment in Covid Times

Maintain Physical & Mental Health
• Practice Yoga and meditation – preferably first thing in the morning • Regular physical exercise • Take enough sleep so you feel fresh in the morning • Keep drinking enough fluids for better hydration • A balanced, nutritious diet with a lot of vegetables & fruits included in it. • Use turmeric, ginger, tulsi etc on a regular basis to boost immunity.

Treatment of Cancer in COVID times : Patients can be divided into three broad groups according to their cancer status and urgency of treatment