Andre Ilbawi, MD, of the World Health Organization, outlines the multi-dimensional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients receiving breast cancer care, and the lessons we can learn from this. He describes how disruption to essential services, as well as fear caused by the pandemic, have affected patient access to care on a global scale. In addition, the potential biological interface between the virus itself and patients receiving cancer care is an area that requires further research. Despite these issues, some countries have been able to respond well to the pandemic through government devised strategies and increased telemedicine. Dr Ilbawi explains that there are many lessons that can be learned from COVID-19, to build a better system to meet the needs of women with breast cancer. This interview took place during the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference.