E-ISSN 2602-3164
EJMI. 2023; 7(3): 188-196 | DOI: 10.14744/ejmi.2023.71185

The Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer

Haci Arak1, Omer Eronat2, Tanyeli Guneyligil3, Fatih Teker1
1Department of Medical Oncology, Gaziantep University Faculty of Medicine, Gaziantep, Türkiye, 2Department of Pathology, Gaziantep University Şahinbey Training and Research Hospital, Gaziantep, Türkiye, 3Department of Biostatistics, Gaziantep University Faculty of Medicine, Gaziantep,Türkiye

Objectives: This study aimed to compare the diagnosis stage, tumor characteristics, treatments, COVID-19 positivity and vaccination rates in pre-pandemic and post-lockdown periods in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Methods: A total of 200 patients from the pre-pandemic (from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019) and post-lockdown (from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021) groups were included in this retrospective single center study.The clinical and pathological characteristics, treatment modalities, vaccination rates against covid-19 and covid-19 positivity of the patients were analyzed and compared between the pre-pandemic group and the post-lockdown group. Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the demographic and pathological characteristics of the two groups, such as age at diagnosis, tumor diameter, T and N staging, stage at diagnosis, ER status, PR status, HER2 status, ki67 expression index. The rates of treatment modalities such as NACT, primary breast surgery, adjuvant CT, palliative CT, and palliative RT were similar between the two groups and there was no significant difference. However, there was a significant difference between the groups in terms of axillary surgical procedure, adjuvant RT and endocrine treatments (p=0.001, p=0.029 and p=0.047, respectively). There was a significant increase in the rate of SLNB in the post-lockdown group. COVID-19 vaccination rates and COVID-19 positivity rates were similar to Turkey's rates in both breast cancer patient groups. Conclusion: The fact that there was no significant difference between the pre-pandemic and post-lockdown groups in the characteristics and treatments of breast cancer patients may be related to the continuation of oncology patient care and cancer detection methods even in the lockdown period. However, the rate of SLNB increased significantly in the post-lockdown group. Keywords: Breast cancer, covid-19, pre-pandemic, post-lockdown

Cite This Article

Arak H, Eronat O, Guneyligil T, Teker F. The Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer. EJMI. 2023; 7(3): 188-196

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