The standard of care for patients with cancer is to discuss their case with peers and peers of associated specialities. Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Surgery, Pathology, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, etc are vital parts of the multi-disciplinary team.
We meet every week at one of the conference halls, to discuss patients and finalise management plans.
All this has been thrown into disarray due to the fear of Covid19 infection. All meetings have been shut down.
Hard to put down humans.
We are now changing over to video conferencing – all our meetings are now via Microsoft Teams or Zoom or Webex.
It has been an interesting challenge to convince people to use Teams and Zoom, but they are slowly coming around – and are now starting to enjoy it.
Most of us now have Teams on our phones, ipads and laptops – working from homes and offices (most offsite).
Life finds a way.
Covid-19 is creating havoc across the world.
This illness started off in China and has now travelled across the world. Large megacities to small villages are being affected severely.
Most of the real-time data we have is from China, Italy, Spain, UK and the USA.
The people with highest risk of dying are: age above 70, heart problems and immunosuppressed.
The immunosuppressed cohort include people on steroids and cytotoxic chemotherapy. This is a massive decision to be made in clinics on a daily basis.
What is the true benefit of 3rd or 4th line chemotherapy in someone with gastric or pancreatic cancer? The benefit is very marginal, but the chances of getting severely immunosuppressed are fairly significant.
It is a very difficult discussion. In the times of social distancing – only one family member is allowed for the consultation – the discussion is even more challenging.
Stay safe. Godspeed.