Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 126--129

The psychosocial implications on cancer patients: The hidden collateral of the war on coronavirus disease 2019


1 Department of Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Ashish Gulia
Department of Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_203_20

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The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has evolved into a pandemic of unheard proportions. Given the havoc wreaked by this pathogen worldwide, many countries have adopted an extreme, legally enforced method of social distancing, in the form of a lockdown. Unless appropriate preventive steps are taken, the cost of the pandemic and ensuing lockdown may prove to be irreparable. The evident implications of this lockdown, such as the escalating levels of unemployment, impending economic collapse, and severe food shortage faced by the sudden unemployed migrant labor population, have been widely reported. Cancer patients are a particularly vulnerable group even during nonpandemic times, often presenting late in the course of their disease, without the resources needed to avail recommended treatment. The prevalence of psychiatric complications and emotional distress is significantly higher than in the general population, and the trauma of both the pandemic and subsequent lockdown adds significantly to their mental trauma. This review is aimed toward addressing the problems faced by cancer patients in the face of this pandemic and subsequent lockdown, with a glimpse into possible solutions that can be implemented.






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