The impact of COVID-19 on patients diagnosed with melanoma, breast, and colorectal cancer

Am J Surg. 2024 Mar:229:36-41. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2023.09.040. Epub 2023 Sep 29.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted healthcare resource allocation and utilization of preventative medical services. It is unknown if there is resultant stage migration of melanoma, breast, and colorectal cancer when comparing extended time periods before and after the pandemic onset.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of melanoma, breast, and colorectal cancer patients was completed. Clinical and pathological staging was compared utilizing 12 and 22-month timeframes before and after the pandemic outbreak.

Results: Between the 22-month pre- and post-COVID-19 groups, breast cancer clinical stage T2 significantly increased, and pathological stage 2 decreased. Colorectal cancer clinical stage T1 decreased, stage T4 increased, and stage 0 decreased in the 22-month groups. In the 12-month groups, melanoma clinical stage T1 increased, and colorectal cancer clinical stage N2 increased.

Conclusions: Evaluating extended timeframes beyond the immediate pre- and post-COVID-19 period revealed significant increases in clinical staging of breast and colorectal cancer, suggesting advanced disease is becoming more evident as time progresses.

Keywords: Breast; COVID-19; Colorectal cancer; Melanoma; Staging.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms*
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melanoma* / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Retrospective Studies