|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 328
Prevention is better than cure
Shefali Agasty, Chakor Sunil Vora
Medical Oncology Unit, Department of Medicine, Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Submission||07-May-2020|
|Date of Decision||08-May-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||11-May-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||19-Jun-2020|
Chakor Sunil Vora
C - 4, Flat No. 13, Maniratna Complex, Aranyeshwar, Pune - 411 009, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Agasty S, Vora CS. Prevention is better than cure. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:328
We congratulate Dr. Bansal and Dr. Ghafur for their commentary, “COVID-19 in oncology settings,” published in the recent issue of Cancer Research, Statistics, and Treatment.
They have provided the most important information about the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in the article. They have also thrown light on the magnitude of disease manifestation and the worse outcomes of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) in the immunocompromised patients than the immunocompetent ones. In addition, they have briefly mentioned the strategies for care of patients with cancer, which can be helpful during this crisis, such as:
- Intensive education of patients with cancer about infection control practices at the personal level 
- Stronger emphasis on strict surveillance among patients with cancer
- Development of good infection control practices in the healthcare settings for taking care of patients with cancer.
We completely agree with their first and third recommendations and have implemented them since the onset of this crisis. The result of these implementations over the past two months has been uninterrupted treatment to many patients.
The second recommendation for a stronger emphasis on strict surveillance among patients with cancer needs to be defined in more detail. If, by emphasizing on strict surveillance, the authors imply recording the history and performing a clinical examination and a screening chest radiogram for symptomatic patients, then that is already a part of routine practice at most centers. However, if they imply taking a nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab before each chemotherapy cycle or weekly in a patient undergoing radiation, then it poses the dilemma of the judicious use of the available resources. The number of testing kits for COVID-19 is limited and so are the rest of the resources. Hence, we need to plan and act in a prudent and preemptive manner.
Finally, we would like to stress on the point that we should not drift away from our long-standing knowledge: “Cancer is curable if detected early.” Therefore, we should attempt to continue caring for patients with cancer with their best possible interests in mind. COVID-19 can kill 20% of the patients with cancer, but cancer can kill 100% of them, if not treated in time for the fear of COVID-19.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Bansal N, Ghafur A. COVID-19 in oncology settings. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:13.
Srivastava P, Tilak TV, Patel A, Das CK, Biswas B, Mahindru S, et al
. Advisory for cancer patients during the COVID pandemic. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:145-8.
Noronha V, Behel V. Catch-22: COVID versus cancer. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:1-2.