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World J Clin Cases ; 10(26): 9228-9240, 2022 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2033420


Management of colorectal cancer (CRC) was severely affected by the changes implemented during the pandemic, and this resulted in delayed elective presentation, increased emergency presentation, reduced screening and delayed definitive therapy. This review was conducted to analyze the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on management of CRC and to identify the changes made in order to adapt to the pandemic. We performed a literature search in PubMed, Medline, Index Medicus, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Reference Citation Analysis ( and Google Scholar using the following keywords in various combinations: Colorectal cancer, elective surgery, emergency surgery, stage upgrading, screening, surveillance and the COVID-19 pandemic. Only studies published in English were included. To curtail the spread of COVID-19 infection, there were modifications made in the management of CRC. Screening was limited to high risk individuals, and the screening tests of choice during the pandemic were fecal occult blood test, fecal immunochemical test and stool DNA testing. The use of capsule colonoscopy and open access colonoscopy was also encouraged. Blood-based tests like serum methylated septin 9 were also encouraged for screening of CRC during the pandemic. The presentation of CRC was also affected by the pandemic with more patients presenting with emergencies like obstruction and perforation. Stage migration was also observed during the pandemic with more patients presenting with more advanced tumors. The operative therapy of CRC was altered by the pandemic as more emergencies surgeries were done, which may require exteriorization by stoma. This was to reduce the morbidity associated with anastomosis and encourage early discharge from the hospital. There was also an initial reduction in laparoscopic surgical procedures due to the fear of aerosols and COVID-19 infection. As we gradually come out of the pandemic, we should remember the lessons learned and continue to apply them even after the pandemic passes.

J Gastrointest Cancer ; 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1942995


PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic has been a burden to the global community as a whole but the healthcare community had bore the brunt of it. The pandemic resulted in policy changes that interfered with effective healthcare delivery. The healthcare community attempted to cope with the pandemic by triaging and prioritizing emergency conditions especially COVID related, ahead of elective conditions like cancer care. There was also fear that patients with cancer were at an increased risk of sever COVID-19 with increased mortality. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was also affected by these policies. METHODS: We reviewed the modified measures adopted in screening, surveillance, and management of HCC during the pandemic using PubMed, Medline, Index Medicus, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar databases. RESULT: The main modification in surveillance and screening for HCC during the pandemic includes limiting the surveillance to those with very high risk of HCC. The interval between surveillan was also delayed by few months in some cases. The adoption of teleconferencing for multidisciplinary team meetings and patient consultation is one of the highlights of this pandemic all in an effort to reduce contact and spread of the virus. The treatment of early-stage HCC was also modified as needed. The role of ablative therapy in the management of early HCC was very prominent during the pandemic as the surgical therapy was significantly affected by the lacks of ventilators and intensive care unit space resulting from the pandemic. Transplantation, especially living donor liver transplantation, was suspended in few centers because of the risk of infection to the living donors. CONCLUSION: As we gradually recover from the pandemic, we should prepare for the fallout from the pandemic as we may encounter increased presentation of those patients deferred from screening during the pandemic.