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Breast Cancer Care During the Pandemic

Breast Cancer Care During the Pandemic

OUR PRIORITIES ARE unwavering, even during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our experts continue to provide excellent care and advance breast cancer research. We implemented innovative measures to ensure the safety of our patients, their families and our care teams. Our entire breast cancer team worked together with experts in medical, surgical and radiation oncology, and pathology, creating modified guidelines for breast cancer treatment to maximize the benefit of therapy and decrease the risk of therapy-related complications and contracting COVID-19. Our published recommendations were shared with other cancer care providers across the nation and the world and adapted as industry standards.

Our innovative nurses initiated a drive-through injection clinic, allowing patients to safely receive injectable treatments in the circle in front of our Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building. A room in the building’s lobby was set up for blood draws and some injections. With these and other modifications throughout the pandemic, we now are able to see more than two-thirds of our patients in person. Even during these challenging times, our drive to better understand and treat breast cancer and to continue our research on its prevention has not waivered. We continued to provide care for patients receiving active therapy and those already enrolled in clinical trials. For the safety of our patients, new enrollment in therapeutic clinical trials was paused for a limited time period at the start and peak of COVID-19. When possible, trials were modified to decrease the total number of visits to the hospital, and care was delivered remotely and safely. Now, with decreases in the number of cases of COVID-19 in our area and an increased supply of personal protection equipment, our experts are resuming some paused studies and making plans to ramp up more studies, as permitted by safety guidelines.

Our dedicated navigators transformed our programming, and our support group attendance has been higher than ever. We conducted a three-part webinar series related to COVID-19’s effects on breast cancer care.

As always, the health and safety of our patients are our top priority. We are excited to bring you these stories of exciting progress in survivorship, prevention, treatment and research.

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