Options for Management of Gynecologic Cancers during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

Ane Gerda Z Eriksson | Maj 2020 | COVID-19 |

Ane Gerda Z Eriksson
MD, PhD, Senior Consultant
Department of Gynecologic Oncology
Division of Cancer Medicine
The Norwegian Radium Hospital
Oslo University Hospital

In this COVID-19 perspective Ane Gerda Zahl Eriksson describes current considerations regarding options for management of women with gynecologic cancers in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As we face the initial wave of COVID-19, we are aware of the concerns of patients and physicians related to the management of women with gynecologic cancer during the ongoing pandemic. As our healthcare systems are preparing to divert resources to care for patients infected by COVID-19, and social distancing measures are in effect, these last few months have provided valuable insight regarding how we may provide oncologic care within the frames of the pandemic in the inpatient and outpatient settings. There is still much to learn, as we are making rapid decisions on the basis of limited data to protect patients and healthcare workers alike. Management strategies that may be appropriate for one hospital setting may not be appropriate for another depending on prevalence of COVID-19 and available resources. The opinions expressed here, are current considerations regarding options for management of women with gynecologic cancers, and may change as we learn more about COVID-19. Several societies have created special recommendations or guidelines, some of these resources are listed below. Outpatient visits It is advisable to generate screening questions to rule out coronavirus infection, or perform testing for COVID-19 if available, prior to patients entering the hospital. Restrict visits only to new patients and to those in active treatment for their disease. Don’t allow accompanying family members, or limit to only one person if absolutely necessary. Surveillance visits may be transitioned to telemedicine, or one may postpone visits in asymptomatic patients. Surgical management There are reports that patients with ongoing COVID-19 infection have significantly increased postoperative morbidity and mortality. One should therefore postpone any non-emergent surgery until after an infection has resolved. Preoperative...