The Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care in the Post Pandemic World: Five Major Lessons Learnt from Challenges and Countermeasures of Major Asian Cancer Centres

Laureline Gatellier, Abhishek Shankar, Luh K.Mela Dewi, Quazi Mushtaq Hussain, Tashi Dendup Wangdi, Dato Babu Sukumaran, Nina Kemala Sari, Sahar Tavakkoli Shiraji, Mohammad Biglari, Mamak Tahmasebi, Satoshi Iwata, Tatsuya Suzuki, Seung Kwon Myung, June Young Chun, Jong Soo Han, Fen Nee Lau, Suhana Yusak, Luvsandorj Bayarsaikhan, Khin Thin Mu, Kishore K. PradhanangaAasim Yusuf, Ching Hung Lin, Ruru Chun Ju Chiang, Suleeporn Sangrajran, Quang Tien Nguyen, Giang Nguyen Huong, Aung Naing Soe, D. N. Sharma, Manju Sengar, C. S. Pramesh, Tomohiro Matsuda, Alireza Mosavi jarrahi, William Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected healthcare services around Asia. The Asian National Cancer Centres Alliance and the Asia-Pacific Organisation for Cancer Prevention collaborated to assess the mid and long-term impact of COVID-19 to cancer care in Asia. Methods: The two entities organised a combined symposium and post-meeting interactions among representatives of major cancer centres from seventeen Asian countries to outlining major challenges and countermeasures. Results: Participating stakeholders distilled five big questions. 1) “Will there be an explosion of late-stage cancers after the pandemic?” To address and recover from perceived delayed prevention, screening, treatment and care challenges, collaboration of key stakeholders in the region and alignment in cancer care management, policy intervention and cancer registry initiatives would be of essential value. 2) “Operations and Finance” The pandemic has resulted in significant material and financial casualties. Flagged acute challenges (shortages of supplies, imposition of lockdown) as well as longer-standing reduction of financial revenue, manpower, international collaboration, and training should also be addressed. 3) “Will telemedicine and technological innovations revolutionize cancer care?” Deploying and implementing telemedicine such as teleconsultation and virtual tumour boards were considered invaluable. These innovations could become a new regular practice, leading to expansion of tele-collaboration through collaboration of institutions in the region. 4) “Will virtual conferences continue after the pandemic?” Virtual conferences during the pandemic have opened new doors for knowledge sharing, especially for representatives of low and middle-income countries in the region, while saving time and costs of travel. 5) “How do we prepare for the next pandemic or international emergency?” Roadmaps for action to improve access to appropriate patient care and research were identified and scrutinised. Conclusion: Through addressing these five big questions, focused collaboration among members and with international organisations such as City Cancer Challenge will allow enhanced preparedness for future international emergencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-690
Number of pages10
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Asia
  • Coronavirus
  • diagnosis
  • LMIC
  • prevention


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