Cancer patients concerned COVID-19 will disrupt care

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There's already concern about current, or even former cancer patients, about their weakened immune systems. But some have also been told their surgery or treatments are being canceled due to equipment or staffing issues.
The Cancer Treatment Center in Philadelphia has had some patients switch over from general hospitals, so it's beefed up services to avoid interruptions and to transfer insurance coverage.

The CEO says that as the COVID-19 curve rises, a second curve is rising among cancer patients.

"For years in cancer care and other aspects of care, we've said, 'Get your care early, get your care consistently, and finish your therapy,'" says Dr. Pat Basu, president and CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. "And a lot of patients feel they've been left hanging."

"If it was two days, that's OK. But two weeks, let alone two months. Four months is just too long to wait," he says.

Dr. Basu is urging general and university hospitals to partner with specialty hospitals like CTCA, who do have capacity to take more patients.

All of this to ensure those with high-risk conditions still get their care.
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