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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 165-166

Lesson for management of cancerous patient in the big flooding

1 Sanitation 1Medical Academic Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Wiwanitkit House, Bangkhae, Bangkok, Thailand

Date of Web Publication19-Apr-2012

Correspondence Address:
Beuy Joob
Sanitation1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok, Bangkok
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.95209

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How to cite this article:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Lesson for management of cancerous patient in the big flooding. J Can Res Ther 2012;8:165-6

How to cite this URL:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Lesson for management of cancerous patient in the big flooding. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Sep 29];8:165-6. Available from: http://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2012/8/1/165/95209


The big flooding in Central Thailand from October to November 2011 caused several destructions. This was one of the biggest flooding in Asia, which affected more than 12 millions of Thai population and caused an approximate lost of billion dollars. The area of floodings covered more than 250,000 km 2 . This flooding also affected the medical healthcare system, infrastructures of the medical care unit, medical personnel as well as millions of patients. This letter deals with the lesson for the management of cancer patients affected by this flooding, which were the most seriously affected group. In this flooding, more than 20 tertiary hospitals with cancer care unit had to (about one-fifth of all cancer centers in Thailand)shut down due to the following issues: a) the difficulty in transportation (patients, medical materials, drugs, etc), b) flooding inside the hospital serving cancer treatment (chemotherapy and radiotherapy units closed), c) the shortage of drugs and medical materials due to the flooding at the factory. Within the two-month period of flooding, it is estimated that about 40,000 cancerous patients are affected (the estimated number of cancerous patients in Thailand is about 200,000 cases). These patients were blocked by the flooding and lost further follow up. Many cases were delayed for continuous chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy. The period of delay was considered as longer than the acceptable period, [1] indicating expected poorer prognosis of disease. Furthermore, the effect of flooding on radioactive materials and hospital machines should also be mentioned. Luckily, there is no report on the leakage of radioactive elements from any radiotherapy centers into the flooding water. Indeed, the effect of flooding on the management of cancer patient is little mentioned. The increased mortality is a basic problem. [2] A recent report from China indicated for higher mortality rate as observed in a cancer patient affected by flooding compared to those without the problem. [3] In the present flooding crisis in Thailand, the loss of follow up of the cancer patients was common. The following policies were used to fight against the problem: a) special active medical care team to serve the registered cancer patient at their home in the flooding area, b) cross hospital referring system to help distribute the cancer patients, c) the plan for import of important drugs in case of shortage. Indeed, the present crisis is the lesson for future. Each cancer center should be well prepared for possible natural disasters. A national level plan has to be set for management of the crisis and post crisis restoration. [4]

 > References Top

1.Blumenthal DT, Won M, Mehta MP, Curran WJ, Souhami L, Michalski JM, et al. Short delay in initiation of radiotherapy may not affect outcome of patients with glioblastoma: A secondary analysis from the radiation therapy oncology group database. J Clin Oncol 2009;27:733-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Bennet G. Bristol floods 1968. Controlled survey of effects on health of local community disaster. Br Med J 1970;3:454-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Li X, Tan H, Li S, Zhou J, Liu A, Yang T, et al. Years of potential life lost in residents affected by floods in Hunan, China. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2007;101:299-304.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Harmon RE, Boulmay BC. Restoration of medical oncology services at LSU Interim Public Hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina: A two-year experience of LSUHSC. J La State Med Soc 2011;163:144-7.  Back to cited text no. 4


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