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Breast cancer, COVID-19 infection, Outcome
Background: There is no data on the outcome of COVID-19 infection in patients with breast cancer from India. This study was done to assess the outcome of patients with breast cancer who had COVID-19 infection.
Methods: We analyzed patients with breast cancer who were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection from May to September 2020 in the medical oncology department of a tertiary cancer center in India. Symptomatic patients (fever and influenza-like illness symptoms) or asymptomatic patients planned for systemic therapy were tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR.
Results: A total of 441 breast cancer patients received 1174 systemic therapies from May to September 2020. Among them, 36 patients who had COVID-19 infection were analyzed in detail. The majority (86%) were asymptomatic at presentation. The most common symptoms were fever followed by cough. Patients were either admitted to the hospital (53%) or kept in home quarantine (47%). Patients who received oxygen, non-invasive assisted ventilation (NIV), and mechanical ventilation (MV) were 8%, 3%, and 3% respectively. The median duration of hospitalization and home quarantine was 11 days and 19 days respectively. The recovery of patients with COVID-19 infection was 94%. The median duration to clearing SARS-COV-2 by RT-PCR was 19 days. The total/all-cause mortality was 6% (n=2). The mortality due to COVID-19 infection was 3% (n=1). Subsequently, 89% were restarted on systemic therapy. The median delay in restarting systemic therapy was 23 days.
Conclusion: Systemic therapy can be safely administered during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. Further, follow-up of patients is warranted to assess the long-term impact of COVID-19 infection.
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