Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic brought several challenges to cancer practice, especially to ensure continuity of treatment during this period, minimizing the risks of transmission to a vulnerable population . For Radiation Oncology departments in Brazil, this contingency has become even more complex due to the significant impact observed in different sectors of society, the large number of cases and deaths by COVID-19 . This study estimated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Brazilian Radiation Oncology departments and the coping measures used in the country . Methods and Materials: The Brazilian Radiotherapy Society (SBRT) developed a questionnaire with 14 questions, sent to all heads of Radiation Oncology departments in the country, between May and June 2020 . These data were evaluated regarding cases confirmed and deaths by COVID-19 in epidemiological week 28, on July 11 , 2020 .
Results: One hundred twenty-six questionnaires from different regions were answered, representing 44% of the country's services . A drop in the number of patients was observed in 61% of services . This drop was observed both in patients from the public and supplementary private health insurance systems . Regarding patients and employees with COVID-19, we observe that services that primarily treat SUS patients reported significantly fewer cases of the disease . About half of the services had collaborators and patients during radiotherapy with a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 . Among the coping measures, the services used intensified hygiene and cleanliness, distance, restrictions on access to companions and other changes in daily practice .
Conclusions: Thus, there was an important drop in the number of radiotherapy patients in the country during the pandemic, and this impact happened in a similar way among the services, regardless of their characteristics and coping measures adopted during the pandemic.