Under normal circumstances, patients undergoing cancer treatment might experience stress and uncertainty. Not surprisingly, these feelings might be even more magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. For this and many other reasons, BioPlus clinicians are speaking personally to each oncology patient to check in and answer any questions they may have about their medicine, treatment plan, and COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Immunosuppression related to cancer treatment is a legitimate concern that should be taken seriously by patients, their families, and their caregivers. Some patients have wondered if they should start or continue treatment during this crisis. The American Society of Clinical Oncology states that there is no evidence at this time to support changing or withholding immunotherapy or other cancer treatments in those with cancer who do not currently have a COVID-19 infection. Of course, clinical decisions should be based on each individual patient, but there is no general recommendation to delay or withhold cancer treatment.
Oncology patients who do develop a COVID-19 infection have been shown to have poorer outcomes. In such cases, it would be prudent to consider changes or avoidance of oncology treatment.
Cancer patients are among the most vulnerable to viral infection, which is why many oncologists have transitioned to telemedicine so that more patients can stay home. Virtual visits protect patients from potential exposure while meeting their important health needs. In addition, cancer patients should carefully follow guidelines to avoid COVID-19 exposure (stay at home, handwashing, and so forth).
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy continues to serve provider offices and their patients throughout this COVID-19 crisis.
You can count on us in these tough times, and in the better days ahead.