Cancer Australia has released a conceptual framework for cancer care during a pandemic incorporating evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic.
To achieve best outcomes for cancer patients during a pandemic, efforts to minimise the increased risk of severe pandemic infection must be carefully balanced against unintended adverse impacts of the pandemic on cancer care, with consideration to available health system capacity. Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic supports the continuation of cancer care wherever possible during a pandemic in order to achieve the best outcomes for cancer patients and the community.
Cancer Australia’s updated conceptual framework provides an evidence-based ‘toolkit’ for how to continue cancer care across the cancer pathway, in the face of challenges to health systems, while minimising infection risk for cancer patients during the current COVID-19 pandemic and future similar pandemics.
Developed for health services, health professionals, cancer organisations, and policy-makers, the conceptual framework covers the care of all cancers across the whole cancer care continuum and reflects changing health system capacity across the different acute and recovery phases of a pandemic.