Strategies for Breast Cancer Surgery During & After COVID-19 Pandemic

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Germana Lissidini
Gabriel Farante
Jose Maria Vila Vives
Arwa Ahmed Ashoor
Antonio Toesca
Francisco Ripoll-Orts
Paolo Arnone
Giuseppe Curigliano
Paolo Veronesi


Coronavirus, COVID-19, Breast Cancer, Breast Surgery


Background: In December 2019, a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2), also named “COVID-19”, has produced a global pandemic and has seriously affected many health systems around the world. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic, many international societies and groups of experts have published clinical guidelines and recommendations for surgical management of breast cancer patients in this time of crisis and issued COVID guidelines to prioritize surgery where time is critical and it cannot be deferred.
Methods: In this study, we review current recommendations for breast cancer surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic and propose a plan for future waves of the current pandemic while minimizing the risk of the contagious disease and oversaturating the health systems regarding the burden of accumulating untreated disease.
Results: We create a critical and constructive vision from learnt lessons for similar future situations and propose a moving forward plan during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.  
Conclusion: Although in many parts of world, it would appear that now we are past the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still face as uncertainty as to the future course of the pandemic and the challenges of the second wave. It is important to reappraise continuously the guidance and to emphasize the need for new protocols under new norms to continue to deliver breast cancer surgery safely.


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