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Cancer, heart surgeries delayed as coronavirus alters care
Published in 18-3-2020
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Some cancer surgeries are being delayed, many stent procedures for clogged arteries have been pushed back and infertility specialists were asked to postpone helping patients get pregnant. Doctors in virtually every field are scrambling to alter care as the new coronavirus spreads.

Medical groups issued advice this week on how hospitals and doctors should adapt as beds and supplies are pinched and worries rise about exposing patients to possible infection. That includes canceling elective surgeries, including many for slow-growing or early-stage cancers, which many people would consider not elective at all.

Luciano Orsini's operation, set for April 1 at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, was pushed to April 29. He lost one kidney to cancer last year and was eager for this surgery to remove tumors on the sole kidney he has left.

"I don't want it to get any larger," Orsini said of his cancer, which his doctor says it's growing so slowly that he should be safe waiting. He understands but said: "The anxiety of just have this inside of you and not knowing and wanting to get it out" is hard.

Choices like this are happening across the United States, said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld of the American Cancer Society.

"We are going to face ethical dilemmas, not just in cancer care but in medical care in general," he said. “We recognize that any delay is not good but we may not have a choice.”

The cancer society on Tuesday urged people to forgo mammograms, colonoscopies and other routine cancer screenings until the outbreak eases.

On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence called on hospitals to delay all elective procedures across the country to help ensure medical capacity is focused on stemming the spread of the coronavirus. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services...

Reference: www.chron.com