Keywords: COVID-19, cancer, practical guidelines


The global spread of an infectious disease called COVID-19 which is caused by SARS-CoV-2. continues. The adverse course of COVID-19 is most often observed in patients with comorbidities, in particular malignant tumours. The application of active antineoplastic therapy (chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation exposure) can have a negative effect on the course of COVID-19. Therefore, systemic cancer treatment must account for the risk/benefit ratio. For each cancer patient, several factors, including age and comorbidities, and even the need to visit a hospital, may increase this risk. It is recommended to consider several variables, including the degree of the epidemic, capacities of local healthcare structures, the risk of patient's infection, the activity of malignancy, patient comorbidities, age, and treatment peculiarities. There are no simple and universal recommendations for providing cancer care during a crisis, and the inability to estimate the pandemic duration aggravates the issue. This literature review analyzes the experience of oncologists from different countries concerning diagnostic and therapeutic tactics for cancer patients during the pandemic. Practical recommendations on various types of tumours and treatment methods, determining priorities in the operation of oncological facilities, and rational use of financial and professional resources are considered.


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Shparyk Y. BETWEEN SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS: COVID-19 AND CANCER (LITERATURE REVIEW). Proc Shevchenko Sci Soc Med Sci [Internet]. 2020Apr.14 [cited 2021Oct.26];59(1). Available from: