E-ISSN 2602-3164
EJMI. 2022; 6(2): 151-156 | DOI: 10.14744/ejmi.2022.58360

COVID-19 Pandemic is More Dangerous Than we Think

Elvina Almuradova1, Denis Cetin2, Mustafa Murat Midik2, Erdem Goker1, Ulus Ali Sanli1, Burcak Karaca1
1Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey, 2Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey

Objectives: The Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose a threat to humanity without pausing. The difficulties in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients arising from the outbreak are worrisome. Methods: The data of 1060 adult patients who applied to the Department of Medical Oncology with the new diagnosis of solid cancer between February 2019 and March 2021 were analyzed retrospectively. Applications between February 2019 - 2020 were defined as pre-pandemic, and those between March 2020 - 2021 were defined as post-pandemic group. Groups were compared according to demographic characteristics, cancer types, stages, time to treatment initiation, and reasons for the delay in medical treatment. Results: There were 711 (54% female, 46% male) applications in the pre-pandemic period and 349 (48.4% female, 51.6% male) in the post-pandemic period (p<0.001) with no difference according to age and gender distribution. In the post-pandemic period, decreases to hospital admission were observed in all cancer types except lung and central nervous system cancers. The frequency of stage 4 disease at diagnosis increased significantly compared to the pre-pandemic period (p=0.039). Postpones in surgical procedures due to the pandemic conditions was the most common cause of medical treatment delay, while pandemi-phobia was the second leading cause. Conclusion: This study revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited the newly diagnosed cancer applications. At the same time, the increase in the frequency of stage 4 disease at the time of diagnosis with the pandemic may be a harbinger of increased mortality. Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, cancer

Cite This Article

Almuradova E, Cetin D, Midik M, Goker E, Sanli U, Karaca B. COVID-19 Pandemic is More Dangerous Than we Think. EJMI. 2022; 6(2): 151-156

Corresponding Author: Elvina Almuradova

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