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J Surg Oncol ; 123(1): 24-31, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-882356


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Italy was severely affected by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic. Our Institution, Piedmont's largest tertiary referral center, was designated as a non-COVID-19 hospital and activities were reorganized to prioritize critical services like oncological care. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy in preserving the oncological surgical practice at our Institution during the most critical months of the COVID-19 epidemic by analyzing the surgical pathology activity. METHODS: The number of oncological surgical resections submitted to histopathological examination from 9th March 2020 to 8th May 2020 were collected as well staging/grading data and compared with the previous three pre-COVID-19 years (2017-2019). RESULTS: Overall, no decrease was observed for most tumor sites (5/9) while breast resections showed the largest drop (109 vs. 160; -31.9%), although a full recovery was already noticed during the second half of the period. Conversely, the selected control benchmarks showed a sharp decrease (-80.4%). Distribution of pathological TNM stages (or tumor grades for central nervous system tumors) showed no significant differences during the lockdown compared with previous years (p > .05). CONCLUSIONS: The present data suggest the possibility of preserving this cornerstone oncological activity during an evolving public health emergency thanks to a prompt workflow reorganization.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Neoplasms/surgery , Pathology, Surgical , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgical Oncology , Humans , Neoplasm Staging , Neoplasms/pathology , Referral and Consultation , Tertiary Care Centers