N. Solano, P. Gutierrez, E. Parra
Jul 4, 2020
Journal of Oral Medicine and Oral Surgery
Introduction: The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare to the public is severe. There is a high viral load in the nasal and oral cavities of infected patients, especially endangering those specialties focused around this region. Within the field of action of oral and maxillofacial surgeons, the approach and management of oral cancer is one relevant area. The present review aims to collect and discuss aspects of the management of inpatients and outpatients with oral cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Corpus: The care of the patient affected with oral cancer is imperative. Following strict biosecurity protocols, procedures such as clinical examinations for cancer patients and biopsies can be performed. In the case of benign slowly growing tumors, deferral of surgery until the COVID-19 pandemic situation has settled is recommended. In the case of malignant tumors, surgery must be performed using appropriate biosecurity measures. Conclusion: The reduction of elective surgery is necessary; nevertheless, urgent oncologic and emergency surgery still has to be performed. Strategies must be developed to reduce the number of infections. The adequate approach of the COVID-19 challenge merits significant changes in the infrastructure of outpatient units, inpatient units, and operating rooms.