August 25, 2020
| RGCIRC Team
For patients undergoing brain tumour treatment are at high risk for infections including coronavirus. It is essential to follow COVID-19 precautionary measures to avoid exposure to such infections. This post will brief you everything related to brain tumour treatment during COVID-19.
When the world is rattling against the COVID-19 pandemic, the cancer patients are finding it even more difficult to respond to this uncertain situation as they tend to be at high risk of infection because of the weakened immune system. In such a scenario, the patients must know about the changed brain tumour treatment during COVID-19. Below are the details of the treatment process under new norms for brain tumour patients.
1. The vulnerability of brain patients for COVID-19
Unlike stage-wise cancers, a brain tumour is either benign or malignant. During COVID-19, malignant brain tumour patients and individuals above the age of 60 are more prone to the risk of coronavirus. This is because severe treatments like chemotherapy and radiation lead to compromised immune systems creating high-risk to COVID-19. To know how to avoid the risk of exposure to COVID-19, book appointments for doctor’s consultation.
2. The vulnerability of brain patients for COVID-19
Adhering to the new norms during COVID-19, it is vital for brain tumour patients to take following necessary precautions:
- Avoid large gatherings or close contact, especially those who are sick or are affected by a virus like cold, cough, flu, etc.
- Be extra vigilant about not touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
- Washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds should be a regular habit mainly before and after eating, after using the wash room, blowing of the nose, coughing or sneezing or before and after coming in close contact with anyone.
- Use of hand-sanitizer (preferably >60% alcohol) when going out.
3. Alternate treatment and consultation options
To prevent visits to hospitals during an ongoing pandemic, cancer hospitals have changed the cancer care processes for patients and staff safety without disturbing the treatment process. Below are some effective ways of treatment, cancer care hospitals like Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre, and others are providing during COVID-19.
- Self-screening of coronavirus symptoms over the phone before booking an appointment.
- Teleconsultation using online platforms to the patients.
- Telemedicine/Telehealth delivers healthcare to the patients at their convenience with doctor consultation virtually. This process can be opted by patients with prior appointments for follow-up visits, post-hospitalization care, emergency treatment, front-line treatment, etc.
4. Whether delaying the treatment or therapy is advisable amid COVID-19
Whether brain tumour treatment during the ongoing pandemic is beneficial or not, is always a dilemma among patients. Depending on the severity of one’s brain tumour condition, below are the suggestions that would help one understand the importance of treatment during COVID-19.
- Before the treatment begins:A detailed evaluation of the patient’s symptom, tumour images along with other test results, etc. can be done through telehealth services.
- Newly diagnosed tumour: If the patient’s symptoms are not severe, the postponing of the surgical treatment might be advised.
- High-grade tumourpatients: For such patients, the surgical resection has to be performed immediately without any delay keeping all the COVID-19 precautions in place. In such a case, the oncologist may perform the treatment reducing the time for the hospital stay.
- Elderly patients with complications:To such patients, in place of biopsy or surgery procedures, chemotherapy is suggested keeping in mind the patient’s present condition with due regards to coronavirus precautions.
- Patients accepting Tumourtreating fields (TTF) treatment: Such patients are treated at home curbing the risk of coronavirus during the hospital visit. For the same, the family members are also well-trained to provide necessary treatment.
5. Lifestyle changes required by brain tumour patients during COVID-19
During COVID-19, it is crucial to take care of a brain tumour patient to prevent them from infection, stress, and other behavioural issues by adapting to the necessary lifestyle changes:
- Meditation including deep breath and stretch helps in keeping the mind and body relaxed and active
- Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet
- Good sleep is the key to cure most of the health issues. Hence, switch to good sleeping habits.
- Avoid consuming sedatives like alcohol or drugs as it may worsen the disease.
Keeping the safety of patients and staff intact, the new normal treatment practices mentioned above will help every brain tumour patient to not stress during the outbreak of COVID-19 but go forward and avail the safe brain tumour treatment options without neglecting their health.