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Vol 52, No 3 (2021)
Review article
Published online: 2021-06-28

open access

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Impact of COVID-19 on pediatric oncology

Katarzyna Adamczewska-Wawrzynowicz1, Swati Singh2, Katarzyna Derwich1
Acta Haematol Pol 2021;52(3):169-172.

Abstract

The worldwide coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic led to a critical situation in the healthcare system concerning patients suffering from cancer and chronic diseases. It had the effect of causing them anxiety and reluctance to seek immediate medical attention when required due to the fear of COVID-19’s potentially acute and life-threatening states.

The main issues concerning pediatric patients in this regard are the reluctance to seek pediatric care leading to delayed referrals for severe conditions, including children’s neoplasms, that show a history of symptoms indicating cancer that has been present for weeks. The risk of prolonging diagnoses of pediatric neoplasms may be incomparably more threatening than the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection itself. The incidence of SARS-CoV-2 positivity in children with neoplasms is low, and the majority of them have a mild or moderate course of infection. A physical examination of a child with a history of symptoms indicating cancer is crucial to proper evaluation.

It is essential to minimise the risk of detecting advanced childhood cancer to prevent children from experiencing neoplasms that are otherwise highly curable if diagnosed early, in addition to possible long-term complications and increased mortality.

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