CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol 2022; 43(01): 019-023
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1743128

The Interplay between COVID-19 and Cancer: Challenges and Perspectives

1   Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Centre, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2   Department of Anaesthesiology, Tata Memorial Centre, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
› Author Affiliations


We are now nearly 2 years into the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As we learn to exist and move ahead, embracing the “new normal” with COVID-19, both at a professional and personal level, it is time to reflect on some of the challenges and lessons from the pandemic. COVID-19, one of the most devastating health emergencies of the century, has laid bare the inefficiencies of modern health systems and led to 5 million deaths worldwide.[1] The varying case fatality rates of 0.5 to 2.5% and the absolute numbers of deaths reported from different countries are still lower than the mortality due to noncommunicable diseases and other infectious diseases.[1] This is not to belittle the devastation caused by the pandemic but to draw attention to the impact that COVID-19 and the response to the pandemic have had on systems needed for prevention and management of these other illnesses. In this article, we explore the complex interplay between cancer and COVID-19, the impact of cancer on COVID-19 severity and outcomes, and how COVID-19 affected several levels of care in the diagnosis and management of cancer.

Publication History

Article published online:
17 February 2022

© 2022. Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncology. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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