Background/aim: Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak is currently having a huge impact on medical resource allocation. Breast Cancer (BC) patients are concerned both with BC treatment and COVID-19. This study aimed to estimate the impact of anxiety among patients, caused by the spreading of COVID-19.
Patients and methods: Between the 16th of January and the 20th of March 2020, we retrospectively enrolled 160 patients. Eighty-two patients with a suspected breast lesion (SBL) were divided into two groups: PRE-COVID-19-SBL and POST-COVID-19-SBL. Seventy-eight BC patients were divided into PRE-COVID-19-BC and POST-COVID-19-BC. Patient characteristics including age, marital status, SBL/BC diameter, personal and family history of BC, clinical stage and molecular subtype were recorded. Procedure Refusal (PR) and Surgical Refusal (SR) were also recorded with their reason.
Results: BC and SBL analysis showed no difference in pre-treatment characteristics (p>0.05). Both POST-COVID-19-SBL and POST-COVID-19-BC groups showed higher rates of PR and SR (p=0.0208, p=0.0065 respectively). Infection risk represented primary reason for refusal among POST-COVID-19 patients.
Conclusion: COVID-19-related anxiety could affect patients' decision-making process.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-SOV-2; anxiety; breast cancer; decision-making process; surgery; surgery refusal.
Copyright© 2020, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.