Diagnosing, treating and managing breast cancer during COVID-19

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Published: 22 May 2020
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Prof Philip Poortmans - University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Prof Philip Poortmans speaks to ecancer about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diagnosing, treating and managing breast cancer patients.

He explains the additional risks posed by the pandemic and the associated challenges to healthcare systems, before going on to focus on how this impacts breast cancer patients in particular.

Prof Poortmans discusses challenges and strategies for diagnosis, treatment of early breast cancer and the management of advanced or metastatic disease during this time. He also speaks about the role of telemedicine, and how additional psychological stress can be managed.

Prof Poortmans concludes by stressing that the pandemic is unknown territory for healthcare professionals and oncologists, so guidelines can currently only be based on expert opinion. While a lot of research is currently ongoing, Prof Poortmans notes that he is concerned about the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on breast cancer outcomes.

The studies that Prof Poortmans refers to can be found below:
International Guidelines on Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic
C.E. Coles, C. Aristei, J. Bliss, L. Boersma, A.M. Brunt, S. Chatterjee, G. Hanna, R. Jagsi, O. Kaidar Person, A. Kirby, I. Mjaaland, I. Meattini, A.M. Luis, G.N. Marta, B. Offersen, P. Poortmans, S. Rivera Clinical Oncology (2020-05-01)

Recommendations for triage, prioritization and treatment of breast cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic
Giuseppe Curigliano, Maria Joao Cardoso, Philip Poortmans, Oreste Gentilini, Gabriella Pravettoni, Ketti Mazzocco, Nehmat Houssami, Olivia Pagani, Elzbieta Senkus, Fatima Cardoso, on behalf of the editorial board of The Breast The Breast (2020-04-16)

 

More videos in this series:

Prof Stephen Johnston (Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK) - COVID-19: Treating breast cancer and the knock on effects of the coronavirus pandemic

Prof Alessandra Gennari (University Hospital of Novara, Piedmont, Italy) - An oncologist's experience of managing breast cancer during the COVID-19 outbreak

Dr Javier Cortés (IOB Institute of Oncology, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain) - COVID-19 and breast cancer: How should we treat our patients?

Produced with an educational grant from Eisai Europe Limited who, other than suggesting the topic, were not involved in the review of the videos or the selection of the clinicians in this video.