Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, co-director of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Prostate Cancer Center, and director the of Ambulatory Clinical Operations in the Division of Urological Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discusses the challenges of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in prostate cancer.
Prior to COVID-19, prostate cancer was a challenging and complex disease, says Trinh. As such, these challenges have been amplified amid the ongoing pandemic.
For example, visitor restrictions in the hospital have left many patients to go through their treatment alone, Trinh explains. Moreover, patients are being forced to make treatment-related decisions without additional support from their loved ones.
Notably, the uptake of telemedicine has played a role in mitigating this challenge as patients are able to consultations at home and other family members are able to join in on the video conference, says Trinh.
Despite this, telemedicine has created a novel challenge in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer as physical examination remains a deciding factor in whether a patient requires surgery, Trinh concludes.