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Cancer Med ; 10(1): 208-219, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-932418


BACKGROUND: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on European gynaecological cancer patients under active treatment or follow-up has not been documented. We sought to capture the patient perceptions of the COVID-19 implications and the worldwide imposed treatment modifications. METHODS: A patient survey was conducted in 16 European countries, using a new COVID-19-related questionnaire, developed by ENGAGe and the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale questionnaire (HADS). The survey was promoted by national patient advocacy groups and charitable organisations. FINDINGS: We collected 1388 forms; 592 online and 796 hard-copy (May, 2020). We excluded 137 due to missing data. Median patients' age was 55 years (range: 18-89), 54.7% had ovarian cancer and 15.5% were preoperative. Even though 73.2% of patients named cancer as a risk factor for COVID-19, only 17.5% were more afraid of COVID-19 than their cancer condition, with advanced age (>70 years) as the only significant risk factor for that. Overall, 71% were concerned about cancer progression if their treatment/follow-up was cancelled/postponed. Most patients (64%) had their care continued as planned, but 72.3% (n = 892) said that they received no information around overall COVID-19 infection rates of patients and staff, testing or measures taken in their treating hospital. Mean HADS Anxiety and Depression Scores were 8.8 (range: 5.3-12) and 8.1 (range: 3.8-13.4), respectively. Multivariate analysis identified high HADS-depression scores, having experienced modifications of care due to the pandemic and concern about not being able to visit their doctor as independent predictors of patients' anxiety. INTERPRETATION: Gynaecological cancer patients expressed significant anxiety about progression of their disease due to modifications of care related to the COVID-19 pandemic and wished to pursue their treatment as planned despite the associated risks. Healthcare professionals should take this into consideration when making decisions that impact patients care in times of crisis and to develop initiatives to improve patients' communication and education.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Genital Neoplasms, Female/psychology , Genital Neoplasms, Female/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Depression/psychology , Europe , Fear/psychology , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Young Adult
Int J Cancer ; 148(2): 277-284, 2021 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-635339


The age-standardised incidence of cervical cancer in Europe varies widely by country (between 3 and 25/100000 women-years) in 2018. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage is low in countries with the highest incidence and screening performance is heterogeneous among European countries. A broad group of delegates of scientific professional societies and cancer organisations endorse the principles of the WHO call to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem, also in Europe. All European nations should, by 2030, reach at least 90% HPV vaccine coverage among girls by the age of 15 years and also boys, if cost-effective; they should introduce organised population-based HPV-based screening and achieve 70% of screening coverage in the target age group, providing also HPV testing on self-samples for nonscreened or underscreened women; and to manage 90% of screen-positive women. To guide member states, a group of scientific professional societies and cancer organisations engage to assist in the rollout of a series of concerted evidence-based actions. European health authorities are requested to mandate a group of experts to develop the third edition of European Guidelines for Quality Assurance of Cervical Cancer prevention based on integrated HPV vaccination and screening and to monitor the progress towards the elimination goal. The occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, having interrupted prevention activities temporarily, should not deviate stakeholders from this ambition. In the immediate postepidemic phase, health professionals should focus on high-risk women and adhere to cost-effective policies including self-sampling.

Alphapapillomavirus/immunology , Papillomavirus Infections/immunology , Papillomavirus Vaccines/immunology , Public Health/methods , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Alphapapillomavirus/physiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Early Detection of Cancer , Europe , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Papillomavirus Infections/prevention & control , Papillomavirus Infections/virology , Papillomavirus Vaccines/administration & dosage , Public Health/standards , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/immunology , Vaccination/methods , World Health Organization , Young Adult