A War on Two Fronts: Cancer Care in the Time of COVID-19

Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jun 2;172(11):756-758. doi: 10.7326/M20-1133. Epub 2020 Mar 27.


Initial reports suggest that COVID-19 can be particularly lethal in patients with cancer. This commentary discusses how to balance a delay in cancer diagnosis or treatment against the risk for a potential COVID-19 exposure, mitigate the risks for significant care disruptions associated with social distancing behaviors, and manage the appropriate allocation of limited health care resources in this unprecedented time of health care crisis.

Keywords: COVID-19; Cancer chemotherapy; Cancer treatment; Drug delivery system preparation; Health care; Health care providers; Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer; Patients; Prevention, policy, and public health; Respiratory system procedures.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Health Resources / supply & distribution
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology / organization & administration
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Time-to-Treatment