Breast Cancer Management during Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: A Literature Review

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Introduction Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer found in women. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a public health emergency of international concern. Delaying treatment was associated with mortality. The aim is to evaluate breast cancer management during the pandemic.

Methods We searched articles evaluating the management of breast cancer in the midst of COVID-19 outbreak, by searching in PubMed, PubMed Central, and Oncology Society related websites. We only included articles discussing adult breast cancer management in COVID-19 era. The two reviewers screened the titles and abstracts.

Results Around 124 articles were found through the searching process. Eight observational trials, two review articles, six guidelines or recommendations, and one letter to the editor were included in final review. It was concluded that breast cancer posed a risk to contract COVID-19. Newly suspected breast cancer could be deferred for screening or diagnosis, except for special breast cancer cases with bleeding, invasive, and complicated tumors. The benefit of radiotherapy option in every case should be carefully weighed against the risk of infection. Oral chemotherapy and hormonal therapy drugs were preferred to be given than intravenous chemotherapy. The scheduled chemotherapy could be adjusted to reduce hospital visit. Each breast cancer patient is different, so they should be discussed in multidisciplinary team consisting of surgical, radiation, and medical oncologists, pathologist, radiologist, palliative care people, nurses, nutritionist, and others related to the field.

Conclusion The International Oncology Society has released recommendations for breast cancer during COVID-19 pandemic but there is still questionable-quality evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)052-059
JournalAsian Journal of Oncology
Issue number02
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • breast neoplasms
  • COVID-19
  • drug therapy


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