Cancer Research, Statistics, and Treatment

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 413--414

Man proposes, COVID disposes!


Abhay Kattepur1, Mahesh Goel2, Shraddha Patkar2,  
1 Department of Surgical Oncology, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Kolar, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Surgical Oncology, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Shraddha Patkar
Department of Surgical Oncology, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
India




How to cite this article:
Kattepur A, Goel M, Patkar S. Man proposes, COVID disposes!.Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:413-414


How to cite this URL:
Kattepur A, Goel M, Patkar S. Man proposes, COVID disposes!. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Sep 17 ];4:413-414
Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2021/4/2/413/320298


Full Text



We read with interest the article titled, “The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on cancer patients in North Bihar: A phone-based survey” by Singh et al.[1] At the outset, we would like to congratulate the authors for their efforts to telephonically trace patients with cancer from an outreach cancer center in times of adversity. Their attempt to determine the various reasons for delays in obtaining oncology care due to the COVID-19 pandemic is commendable. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cancer care worldwide.[2] The problem is compounded in countries like India where barriers to accessible and affordable health care already exist. This is especially true for outreach centers in North Bihar.[3],[4] However, we would like to point out that the term “financial problem” has been fleetingly mentioned by the authors in the article. We believe that it needs to be defined more objectively. We would also request the authors to mention the average duration of the telephonic conversation during the survey. According to one study by Shankar et al.,[5] data on patients with cancer in India who are affected by COVID-19 are not available. This study provides insights into the real-life situation in the outreach centers. The authors suggest strengthening the cancer care delivery and improving the screening programs to better the outcomes. We would like the authors to elaborate on this aspect by suggesting specific measures that could be implemented. This would be particularly helpful since we are bracing for a second wave which could in fact be worse than the first with even more far-reaching implications. Good referral systems with the option of telemedicine could be provided to the patients on a long-term basis to circumvent this problem. However, the silver lining is that, in dedicated cancer institutes, cancer treatment protocols were modified during the peak of the pandemic and care was provided to a significant proportion of the patients.[6]

In addition, we request the authors to clarify the following points. In [Table 1], the percentages and numbers do not add up to 210 for many of the variables. In [Table 2], for the socioeconomic status parameter, the monthly incomes are reversed by definition. The text mentions 137 patients. However, the table shows details of 138 patients. Finally, in [Figure 3] and [Figure 4], the numbers have not been added to the pie charts.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Singh R, Rai C, Ishan R, Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on patients with cancer in North Bihar, India: A phone based survey. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:37-43.
2Bansal N, Ghafur A. COVID-19 in oncology settings. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:13-4.
3Pandey 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.
4Chauhan R, Trivedi V, Rani R, Singh U, Singh V, Shubham S, et al. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the practice of radiotherapy: A retrospective single-institution study. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:467-74.
5Shankar A, Saini D, Richa , Goyal N, Roy S, Angural H, et al. Cancer care delivery challenges in India during the COVID-19 era: Are we prepared for the postpandemic shock? Asia Pac J Oncol Nurs 2021;8:1-4.
6Pramesh CS, Badwe RA. Cancer management in India during COVID-19. N Engl J Med 2020;382:e61.