The new paradigms in the time of care to patients with head and neck cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic: a literature review

Victor Arthur Rodrigues de Souza, Gabriel Santos Neves, Gustavo Henrique Santos de Almeida, Carlos Eduardo Palanch Repeke


Introduction: SARS-CoV2 is a worldwide health threat, which has as its main risk group patients with head and neck cancer. In the time being and in the chance of an emerging second wave of infection, a new protocol based on when to treat patients with head and neck cancer must be implemented. Aim: Reporting the handling protocols for patients with head and neck cancer, facilitating the clinician's decision in the pandemic scenario. Materials and Methods: A bibliographic search was performed in PubMed. A search strategy with descriptors was applied to the database, aiming at reaching scientific articles. The articles reached in such database had their titles and abstracts read in search for the adequacy to the objective proposed. Only scientific articles published between December 1st 2019, and July 10th 2020, were chosen. There was no restriction either on country or language. Literature review: New protocols were created based on the type and stage of cancer, classifying them in order to identify the ideal time to operate safely. Thus, the protocol has levels from initial to advanced, where the initial level comprises benign neoplasms, skin cancers smaller than 2 mm and cases in asymptomatic early stages, and the advanced level comprises malignant, aggressive neoplasms, with painful symptoms and/or that are compromising the other systems and organs. Conclusion: It is necessary to follow the detailed care protocol to guide the progress of head and neck cancer services, by operating patients immediately or postponing surgery, depending on the case and seriousness.


Coronavirus infections; Head and neck neoplasms; Betacoronavirus

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