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Table of Contents
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 158

Authors' reply to Shankar et al. and Chopra

Department of Medical Oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India

Date of Submission10-Feb-2021
Date of Decision22-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance02-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication26-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Avinash Pandey
5D, Medical Oncology, AIIMS, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bihar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/crst.crst_37_21

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How to cite this article:
Pandey A. Authors' reply to Shankar et al. and Chopra. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:158

How to cite this URL:
Pandey A. Authors' reply to Shankar et al. and Chopra. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 23];4:158. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2021/4/1/158/312095

We acknowledge the comments from Shankar and Saini[1] and Chopra[2] for our article titled, “Impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on cancer care delivery: A single-center retrospective study” published in the last issue of this journal.[3] We concur with Shankar and Saini,[1] Chopra,[2] and Ghosh et al.[4] that our study was limited by the lack of information regarding the distance of the health-care facility from the place of residence of the patients and the exclusion of patients receiving oral chemotherapy.[4] Our primary objective was to measure the extent of decrease in the patient footfalls in the outpatient department (OPD) and change in the pattern of intravenous chemotherapy delivered in our day care. We have reported the changes in the trends of both these indices from a vantage point of a single-faculty medical oncology department in a tertiary regional cancer center. Unlike a few studies published earlier, and as highlighted by Chopra et al.'s insightful letter about head-and-neck cancer trends during the pandemic, we included all patients with cancer who received chemotherapy at our center irrespective of their diagnosis, and hence, our study was more comprehensive.

The medical oncology department in our institute was established in the year 2017, and since then, it has witnessed a rise in the patient footfalls with every passing year.[5],[6] We took February 2020 as the pre-COVID reference month as it immediately preceded the lockdown period. We did not compare the patient footfalls during the lockdown period with the patient footfalls during the same months from the year before to reduce the remote time bias. As ours was a single-department audit, similar data from the radiation and surgical oncology departments were not available. Our database also did not record the intra- and extra-institutional referral patterns of the patients. Moreover, we did not categorize the cases as old or newly registered. We observed a change in favor of the once-in-3-weeks chemotherapy regimen, primarily because the treating physicians advocated this regimen to limit the patient footfalls in our day care unit without hampering the overall treatment efficacy.

The biosafety procedures and precautions followed during the OPD consultation and delivery of chemotherapy in the day care unit have been described in detail in our article. However, detailed discussion of biological waste disposal was beyond the purview of our study. The State Health Department during the pandemic dispensed real-time information on the number of newly diagnosed coronavirus cases in our state on their official Twitter handle. We cited this reference in light of the fact that there was a paucity of valid and published local data on the coronavirus trends at the time of manuscript submission. Ours being a single-faculty department, we did not dispense any teleconsultation during the study period. Furthermore, during the entire study period, our OPD and day care chemotherapy services were functional on all working days. As a result of not being a COVID-dedicated tertiary center, our patient delivery services and health-care worker availability were largely unaffected during the study period.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Shankar A, Saini D. Cancer care delivery amidst COVID-19: Common challenges and counter measures. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:156-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
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Chopra R. How COVID-19 impacted the care of patients with cancer. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:155-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
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Pandey A, Rani M, Chandra N, Pandey M, Singh R, Monalisa K, et al. Impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on cancer care delivery: A single-center retrospective study. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:683-91.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
Ghosh J, Ganguly S. Decline in the number of patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: A matter of concern or just a statistic? Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:793-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
Pandey A, Singh A, Singh S, Kumar A. Patient-doctor ratio across nine super speciality clinics in government hospital: A cross sectional study. Int J Community Med Public Health 2019;6:4421-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
Pandey A, Singh A, Singh S, Kumar A, Shahi H, Kumari A. Impact of Chhath festival on health seeking behaviour of local population. Int J Community Med Public Health 2019;6:3284-8.  Back to cited text no. 6


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