SUGGESTIONS FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF ONCOLOGY PATIENTS IN RADIOTHERAPY FACILITIES DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK – March 18, 2020

The purpose of this paper is to provide indications for the management of radiotherapy treatments in the period of emergency linked to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The different epidemic situations existing in the various Italian regions has made it possible to provide only indications collected from documents issued by the Ministry of Health and the Italian National Institute for Healthcare, from a paper prepared by some managers of radiotherapy facilities and from the experiences acquired in the regions which are most severely affected by the outbreak, to support this medical activity that for many patients is a fundamental treatment.

The document “Recommendations for the management of oncology and onco-hematology patients during the COVID-19 outbreak” prepared by the Ministry of Health, emphasizes that “patients suffering from oncological or onco-hematological pathologies […] are particularly at risk of morbidity and death as a result of respiratory virus infections.”

The official data related to the COVID-19 outbreak are currently very few, but patients with oncological or oncological-hematological diseases are thought to be exposed to a greater risk of contracting the infection and to a more severe course. “If a patient has undergone chemotherapy and/or surgery in the month preceding the infection, this is an additional risk factor “, a situation that is quite common in patients undergoing radiotherapy.

 

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