Should we wait or not? The preferable option for patients with stage IV oral cancer in COVID-19 pandemic
The coronavirus infection is rapidly spreading putting a strain on healthcare services across the globe. Oral cancer patients are susceptible often immunosuppressed due to the disease and/or the treatment received.
We performed a simulationof the currently available data using a multi state and hazards model to provide an objective model for counseling and decision making for healthcare workers.
Stage IV oral cancer patients that did not receive treatment had progression of disease and an increased mortality rate than patients that receive treatment but did not contract COVID-19. The patients that received treatment and got affected with COVID-19 had a far worse impact and higher mortality rate than all other groups.
Isolation and deferring treatment for stage IV oral cancer patients, so as to avoid hospital visits and contration of COVID-19, is an advisable strategy based on this model.