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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 44-50

Disease characteristics and treatment attributes of patients admitted to the oncology ward of a tertiary care government hospital

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Army Hospital (R and R), New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pathology, Army Hospital (R and R), New Delhi, India
3 Command Hospital (SC), Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Virender Suhag
Department of Radiation Oncology, Army Hospital (R and R), Delhi Cantt., New Delhi - 110 010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_1283_16

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Background: The burden of oncology patients in the most developing countries including India has witnessed a steady, progressive, and significant upward trend attributed mainly to increased life span, availability of better imaging modalities, increased awareness, and lifestyle and environmental changes. The management of such patients in government setup often presents lots of challenges such as advanced stage of presentation, existence of medical comorbid conditions, scarcity of beds, and long multimodal treatment often complicated with therapy-induced toxicities. Materials and Methods: A prospective study was undertaken in a Radiation Oncology ward catering to male patients over 6-month duration in a superspecialty hospital of defense services. The clinical, pathological, and treatment-related attributes were recorded. Wherever possible, the clinical course of stay, complications during admission, and the response to primary management were studied. Results: A total of 570 patients were admitted for 6-month duration. Of these patients, 240 were transferred in from other peripheral service hospitals while the remaining were admitted directly from this hospital or transferred from various wards of this hospital. The mean age of the patients was 46.5 years. Most common histology was squamous cell carcinoma. The most common site of primary was head and neck, followed closely by central nervous system tumors and gastrointestinal tract. A total of 185 patients were fresh cases admitted for workup and complete duration of definitive management (of which 82 received concurrent chemoradiation), 280 patients were for follow-up, 70 patients were admitted briefly for supportive care during a while on chemoradiation, and 15 patients were admitted for administrative reasons. Fifty-eight patients developed Grade II and onward therapy-induced hematological, gastrointestinal, cutaneous complications, and 14 patients suffered from febrile neutropenia. Thirty patients developed other significant complications warranting cross-referrals to other specialists. One hundred and thirty patients underwent more than one imaging modalities (contrast-enhanced computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, bone scan, and positron emission tomography-computed tomography). The duration of stay varied from 3 to 64 days, with an average duration of 38 days. There were 18 deaths during the study period. Conclusion: The course of hospitalization for oncology cases is often prolonged and complicated by significant complications, warranting aggressive supportive care by various concerned specialists. These patients often require multiple imaging for primary and metastatic workup. There is a need for judicious selection of patients meriting admission for optimum utilization of existing resources.

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