COVID-19 and the impact on gynecologic cancer care

Ranjit Manchanda*, Samuel Oxley, Sadaf Ghaem-Maghami, Sudha Sundar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant reconfiguration of gynecologic cancer services and care pathways across the globe, with a transformation of working practices. Services had to adapt to protect their vulnerable patients from infection, whilst providing care despite reduced resources/capacity and staffing. The international gynecologic cancer community introduced modified clinical care guidelines. Remote working, reduced hospital visiting, routine COVID-testing, and use of COVID-free surgical areas/hubs enabled the ongoing and safe delivery of complex cancer care, with priority levels for cancer treatments established to guide decision-making by multidisciplinary tumor boards. Some 2.3 million cancer surgeries were delayed or cancelled during the first peak, with many patients reporting significant anxiety/concern for cancer progression and COVID infection. Although COVID trials were prioritized, recruitment to other cancer trials/research activity was significantly reduced. The impact of resultant protocol deviations on outcomes remains to be established. During the recovery healthcare services must maintain capacity and flexibility to manage future surges of infection, address the large backlog of patients with altered or delayed treatments, along with salvaging screening and prevention services. Training needs/mental well-being of trainees need addressing and staff burnout prevented. Future research needs to fully evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on long-term patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Relating to the submitted work, RM reports grant funding received from BGCS to support work into COVID‐19 outcomes on gynecologic oncology. Outside of the submitted work, RM reports grant funding received from the Eve Appeal, Barts Charity, CRUK, and Rosetrees Trust and speaker/lecture fees from AstraZeneca and GSK. Outside of the submitted work, SG‐M is an officer and trustee for the BGCS and member of the RCOG Academic and eLearning Editorial Boards and CPD Committee. Relating to the submitted work, SS received funding from the BGCS for COVIDSurg‐Gynaecological cancer via the University of Birmingham. SO declares no conflicts of interest.


  • cancer care
  • COVID-19
  • FIGO Cancer Report
  • gynecology
  • oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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