The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created massive downward pressure on social, economic and health systems across the world. Cancer patients in all countries and settings have been directly and indirectly impacted.
The Covid-19 and Cancer Taskforce is a globally representative group of cancer leaders spanning the disciplines of cancer across the care continuum from prevention, early detection, treatment and palliative, to representatives of cancer centre networks and advocacy groups.
We are gravely concerned that decisions made under the duress of the pandemic will have momentous consequences for cancer mortality for years to come. National measures are meaning access and availability of timely, affordable and equitable care is under grave threat.
We wish to work with and draw on the expertise of the global cancer community, alongside those of infectious disease and other non-communciable disease, to ensure that data is captured and research conducted to a high quality to:
- Assess the immediate impacts on cancer patients, services, and healthcare workers as well as treatment decision making and patient/doctor interactions;
- Address risks for longer term impacts on cancer outcomes, inequalities, research and affordability;
- Develop an integrated approach to build resilient cancer services with readiness to respond to new pandemics, especially in low- and middle-income countries whose; cancer services are especially vulnerable in the face of this unprecendented public health challenge.