Management of patients with cancer : General Information
Patients with cancer may have a higher risk of symptomatic infection with COVID-19, according to recent publications. It is of utmost importance to organize the care of patients with cancer without delays, and with a maximum security. For these reasons, during COVID-19 epidemic, in all countries, protection materials and physical distance measures should be advised for cancer patients. The specific organisation of the management of cancer patient depends of course on the country and on the incidence of COVID-19 in this country.
The following general principles can be expressed
- All patients should then take the measures of isolation, and avoid contact with patients with clinical symptoms (fever, cough, sneezing) especially if they are on active treatment
- Cancer treatment should be continued, under the strict supervision of the physician, if relevant and possible with teleconsultation monitoring.
- Patients with symptoms (fever, cough, sneezing) should inform immediately their physician for a possible adaptation of the treatment.
- Routine visits and CT scans may be postponed for a few weeks to avoid travels.
- When delays are foreseen on an individual risk/benefit profile, patients should contact their physician to discuss risk/benefit of delays and treatment.
Overall, patients with rare cancers should contact their doctors to discuss the optimal management of their disease during the covid-19 epidemic, being ensured that everything possible will be implemented to enable the optimal management of their disease and their security.
European Reference Networks (ERNs) are virtual networks involving healthcare providers across Europe. They aim to tackle complex or rare diseases and conditions that require highly specialised treatment and concentrated knowledge and resources.
To review a patient’s diagnosis and treatment, ERN coordinators will convene a “virtual” advisory board of medical specialists across different disciplines, using a dedicated IT platform and telemedicine tools. This way it is the medical knowledge and expertise that travel rather than the patients, who have the comfort of staying in their supportive home environments.
More than 300 rare cancers have been identified. ERN EURACAN covers all rare adult solid tumour cancers, grouping them into 10 domains corresponding to the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD10), RARECARE and RARECARENet projects. The management of rare cancers poses significant diagnostic challenges, sometimes with major consequences for patients’ quality of life and outcome. Inappropriate management of these patients may also result in an increased risk of relapse, and risk of death.
EURACAN is one of the 24 European Reference Networks (ERNs) approved by the ERN Board of Member States. The ERNs are supported by the European Commission. For more information about the ERNs and the EU health strategy, please visit http://ec.europa.eu/health/ern. The content on this website represents the views of the network and is its sole responsibility; it can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission or any other body of the European Union.