Introduction/Background*COVID-19 pandemic restrictions caused a limitation in healthcare services availability. This could lead to the delay in diagnosis and onset of the treatment. Ovarian cancer (OC) is frequently detected in advanced stage due to its asymptomatic development. The study aimed to determine whether the incidence and staging of OC were influenced by COVID-19 pandemic in the certified advanced ovarian cancer surgery center.
Methodology The study consisted of 77 patients with primary ovarian cancer admitted to the University Oncology Center in Białystok, Poland between march 2019 and march 2021. We divided patients into two groups, first one diagnosed prior to the pandemic (before march 2020), and the second – diagnosed during pandemic-associated restrictions period. Both groups were compared according to FIGO (International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics) staging and presence of symptoms (hydrothorax and ascites). Statistical analysis was performed with logistic regression analysis. Statistical significance level was set at 0,05.
Result(s)*Before the pandemic, 47 patients were admitted with a median age of 61. During the pandemic, there were 30 newly diagnosed patients with a median age of 59. In both groups the most common type of cancer was high grade serous adenocarcinoma (61,7% and 60,0%, respectively). Patients with an advanced OC (FIGO stage III and IV) accounted for 57,4% in the pre-pandemic group, while in the second group patients with advanced cancer accounted for 66,7%. Although the percentage was higher in the second group, the logistic regression analysis did not confirm the impact of pandemic on more frequent occurrence of FIGO III (p=0,17) and IV (p=0,81) diagnosis. Ascites was found in 29,8% of patients before and 30% during pandemic. Hydrothorax was observed in 14,9% of patients in the first group and 26,7% in the second one. Logistic regression analysis revealed no influence of pandemic on percentage of symptomatic patients (p=0,91 for ascites and p=0,18 for hydrothorax).
Conclusion*The number of newly diagnosed OC patients was lower during the pandemic than in the preceding year. Without regard to healthcare availability, OC remains the disease which is diagnosed in the advanced stage.
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