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2.
An Bras Dermatol ; 98(2): 176-180, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2260632

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 lockdown possibly meant a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma and therefore, worsening its prognosis. This unique situation of diagnosis deferral is an exceptional opportunity to investigate melanoma biology. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the immediate and mid-term impact of diagnosis delay on melanoma. METHODS: A retrospective observational study of melanoma diagnosed between March 14th 2019 and March 13th 2021. We compared the characteristics of melanomas diagnosed during the first 6-month period after the lockdown instauration and a second period after recovery of normal activity with the same periods of the previous year, respectively. RESULTS: A total of 119 melanomas were diagnosed. There were no differences in age, sex, incidence, location, presence of ulceration or mitoses, and in situ/invasive melanoma rate (p>0.05). After the recovery of the normal activity, Breslow thickness increased in comparison with the previous year (2.4 vs 1.9mm, p<0.05) resulting in a significant upstaging according to the AJCC 8th ed. (p<0.05). STUDY LIMITATIONS: The main limitation is that this is a single-center study. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 lockdown implied a diagnosis delay leading to a mid-term increase in Breslow thickness and an upstaging of invasive melanomas. However, the detection deferral did not result in a higher progression of in situ to invasive melanoma, in our sample.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Melanoma , Skin Neoplasms , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Melanoma/diagnosis , Melanoma/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/diagnosis , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies
4.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol ; 37(5): 922-931, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2245850

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 lockdown had a dramatic impact on primary care access and resulted in postponed skin cancer screenings. This raises concerns for a diagnostic delay on primary cutaneous melanomas, which can subsequently increase morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of the COVID-19-related restrictions on the melanoma diagnosis in five European skin cancer reference centres in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy. METHODS: A total of 7865 cutaneous melanoma cases were collected between 01 September 2018 and 31 August 2021. The time period was stratified into pre-COVID (pre-lockdown) and post-COVID (lockdown and post-lockdown) according to the established restrictions in each country. The data collection included demographic, clinical and histopathological data from histologically confirmed cutaneous melanomas. Personal and family history of melanoma, and presence of immunosuppression were used to assess the diagnosis delay in high-risk individuals. RESULTS: There was an overall increase of the Breslow tumour thickness (mean 1.25 mm vs. 1.02 mm) during the post-COVID period, as well as an increase in the proportion of T3-T4 melanomas, rates of ulceration and the number of mitotic rates ≥2 (all, p < 0.001). Patients with immunosuppression and personal history of melanoma showed a decrease in the mean log10-transformed Breslow during lockdown and post-COVID. In the multivariate analysis, age at melanoma diagnosis (p < 0.01) and personal history of melanoma (p < 0.01) showed significant differences in the mean Breslow thickness. CONCLUSIONS: The study confirms the diagnostic delay in cutaneous melanomas due to the COVID-19 lockdown. High-risk individuals, such as patients with personal history of melanoma and elderly individuals, were more hesitant to restart their regular skin cancer screenings post-COVID. Further studies with longer follow-up are required to evaluate the consequences of this diagnostic delay in long-term outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Melanoma , Skin Neoplasms , Humans , Aged , Skin Neoplasms/diagnosis , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/pathology , Melanoma/diagnosis , Melanoma/epidemiology , Melanoma/pathology , Retrospective Studies , Delayed Diagnosis , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , COVID-19 Testing
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(1)2022 12 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2245788

ABSTRACT

It is hypothesized that the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the epidemiology of malignant melanoma owing to diminished screening, diagnostic, and treatment capacities, resulting in a more advanced stage at initial presentation. The goal of this study is to undertake a systematic analysis of all epidemiological and clinical data on the trends and patient outcomes with malignant melanoma during the ongoing pandemic. Records were identified from PubMed, Cochrane, and Web of Science, selecting a total of 39 articles, narrative reviews, and editorial letters, following the PRISMA guidelines. The vast majority of the studies were published in Europe (28/39), and North America (7/39). A total of 99,860 patients were analyzed during 2020 and 2021 of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was observed that malignant melanoma TNM staging increased significantly compared to the pre-pandemic period. Before the pandemic, 25.88% of patients had TNM stage II or above, compared to 36.25% during 2020-2021. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the malignant melanoma Breslow depth index grew from 1.59 mm before 2020 to 1.86 mm in 2020 and 2021. Patients decreased by 19.58% in 2020 and 2021 compared to pre-pandemic numbers. The patient-loss ratio indicated lower screening activity and patient addressability to dermatology and plastic surgery departments with skin cancer concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. This systematic study shows that the identification and management of malignant melanoma during the COVID-19 pandemic faced major challenges which should alert medical systems to the high number of patients with advanced disease stages who may need emergency treatment and become incurable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Melanoma , Skin Neoplasms , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Melanoma/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(24)2022 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2163374

ABSTRACT

Early melanoma diagnosis plays a key role in ensuring best prognosis with good survival rates. The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted global and national healthcare systems, thus making it a real challenge. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on diagnostic delay in melanoma patients in Serbia. In this retrospective study, we included patients treated at the university hospital in Serbia's capitol over a period of five years and three months. We compared the prepandemic (01/JAN/17-14/MAR/20) and pandemic periods (15/MAR/20-31/MAR/22) by evaluating patient demographic data, melanoma subtype, Breslow thickness, Clark level, ulceration status, mitotic index rate and pT staging. We observed a significant reduction in the number of diagnosed patients (86.3 vs. 13.7%; p = 0.036), with melanomas having an increased median Breslow thickness (1.80 vs. 3.00; p = 0.010), a higher percentage of Clark IV-V level lesions (44.0% vs. 63.0%; p = 0.009), an increase in median mitotic index rate (2 vs. 5; p < 0.001) and a trend of increase in lesions thicker than 2 mm (37.8% vs. 53.7%; p = 0.026). We believe that this study can be a useful scenario guide for future similar events, highlighting the importance of preventive measures and timely diagnosis for the best patient outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Melanoma , Skin Neoplasms , Humans , Skin Neoplasms/diagnosis , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Delayed Diagnosis , Neoplasm Staging , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Melanoma/diagnosis , Melanoma/epidemiology
7.
JAMA Dermatol ; 158(6): 634-640, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2127431

ABSTRACT

Importance: Treatment of actinic keratosis (AK) aims to prevent cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC). However, whether AK can progress into invasive cSCC is a matter of debate, and little is known about the effect of treatment on preventing cSCC. Objectives: To evaluate the risk of invasive cSCC and factors that may contribute to increased risk in patients with multiple AKs. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this secondary analysis of a multicenter randomized clinical trial, 624 patients with a minimum of 5 AKs within an area of 25 to 100 cm2 on the head were recruited from the Department of Dermatology of 4 hospitals in the Netherlands. Long-term follow-up was performed from July 1, 2019, to December 31, 2020. Interventions: Patients were randomized to treatment with 5% fluorouracil, 5% imiquimod cream, methylaminolevulinate photodynamic therapy, or 0.015% ingenol mebutate gel. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with invasive cSCC in the target area during follow-up. Secondary outcomes were the associations between risk of invasive cSCC and a priori defined potential prognostic factors, including type of treatment, severity of AK (Olsen grade), history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and additional treatment. Results: Of the 624 patients (558 [89.4%] male; median age, 73 years [range, 48-94 years]) in the study, 26 were diagnosed with a histologically proven invasive cSCC in the target area during follow-up. The total 4-year risk of developing cSCC in a previously treated area of AK was 3.7% (95% CI, 2.4%-5.7%), varying from 2.2% (95% CI, 0.7%-6.6%) in patients treated with fluorouracil to 5.8% (95% CI, 2.9%-11.3%) in patients treated with imiquimod. In patients with severe AK (Olsen grade III), the risk was 20.9% (95% CI, 10.8%-38.1%), and the risk was especially high (33.5%; 95% CI, 18.2%-56.3%) in patients with severe AK who needed additional treatment. Conclusions and Relevance: In this secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial, risk of invasive cSCC was highest in patients with Olsen grade III AK and was substantially increased in patients who received additional treatment. These patients should be closely followed up after treatment. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02281682.


Subject(s)
Carcinoma, Squamous Cell , Keratosis, Actinic , Skin Neoplasms , Aged , Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/epidemiology , Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/etiology , Female , Fluorouracil/adverse effects , Humans , Imiquimod/therapeutic use , Keratosis, Actinic/therapy , Male , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/etiology , Treatment Outcome
13.
Cutis ; 109(5): 272-276, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1912175

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the practice of Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS). We sought to determine the characteristics of skin cancers treated by MMS during the pandemic compared with prepandemic controls. A retrospective chart review was conducted. Tumors included were all treated in accordance with best practice guidelines set forth by state- and national-level professional governing bodies. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to compare outcome variables. Changes in tumor characteristics during the pandemic are of clinical significance, potentially affecting extent of reconstructive surgery, cost, operating time, and future tumor characteristics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Skin Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mohs Surgery , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/pathology , Skin Neoplasms/surgery
14.
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 75(9): 3616-3621, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906809

ABSTRACT

The brisk remodeling in healthcare delivery observed after the COVID-19 outbreak led us to evaluate how the pandemic affected non-melanoma skin cancer's (NMSC) care and tumor burden. To address this topic, we set up a retrospective real-life multi-center study based on the cities of Bergamo and Varese, whose provinces were the worst hit in Italy by the pandemic. We analyzed medical and pathological data from patients that underwent surgery in the two months preceding the outbreak in Italy and compared them to those who did in the corresponding bimester of the following year, reaching 214 patients and 274 lesions. We observed a considerable and significant increase in NMSC's diameter, as well as in the proportion of squamous cell carcinomas. Both the average waiting time to obtain an evaluation visit and the average time in the surgical waiting list was shorter after the COVID-19 outbreak: the reason is that we evaluated and operated near-exclusive patients affected by high-priority lesions, who benefited from "fast-track" referrals. Conversely, less-concerning lesions were, and still are, left on hold, until they will become advanced enough to be labeled as "urgent". Plastic surgery departments should evade as soon as possible from this downward spiral, in order to provide our patients with timely cancer care and to be able to treat all plastic surgery-requiring pathologies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Skin Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/surgery , Tumor Burden
15.
World J Surg ; 46(8): 1820-1825, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1888852

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: For melanoma patients, timely identification and tumor thickness are directly correlated with outcomes. COVID-19 impacted both patients' ability and desire to see physicians. We sought to identify whether the pandemic correlated with changes in melanoma thickness at presentation and subsequent treatment timeline. METHODS: Retrospective chart review was performed on patients who underwent surgery for melanoma in an academic center surgical oncology practice from May 2019 to September 2021. Patients were split into two cohorts: "pre-pandemic" from May 2019 to May 2020 and "pandemic," after May 2020, representing when these patients received their initial diagnostic biopsy. Demographic and melanoma-specific variables were recorded and analyzed. RESULTS: A total of 112 patients were identified: 51 patients from the "pre-pandemic" and 61 from the "pandemic" time period. The pandemic cohort more frequently presented with lesions greater than 1 mm thickness compared to pre-pandemic (68.8% v 49%, p = 0.033) and were found to have significantly more advanced T stage (p = 0.02) and overall stage disease (p = 0.022). Additionally, trends show that for pandemic patients more time passed from patient-reported lesion appearance/change to diagnostic biopsy (5.7 ± 2.0 v 7.1 ± 1.5 months, p = 0.581), but less time from biopsy to operation (42.9 ± 2.4 v 52.9 ± 5.0 days, p = 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: "Pandemic" patients presented with thicker melanoma lesions and more advanced-stage disease. These results may portend a dangerous trend toward later stage at presentation, for melanoma and other cancers with rapid growth patterns, that will emerge as the prolonged effects of the pandemic continue to impact patients' presentation for medical care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Melanoma , Skin Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Melanoma/epidemiology , Melanoma/surgery , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/pathology , Skin Neoplasms/surgery
16.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol ; 36(10): 1766-1773, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846233

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 has massively changed the care situation in hospitals worldwide. Although tumour care should not be affected, initial reports from European countries were suggestive for a decrease in skin cancer during the first pandemic wave and only limited data are available thereafter. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate skin cancer cases and surgeries in a nationwide inpatient dataset in Germany. METHODS: Comparative analyses were performed in a prepandemic (18 March 2019 until 17 March 2020) and a pandemic cohort (18 March 2020 until 17 March 2021). Cases were identified and analysed using the WHO international classification of diseases codes (ICDs) and process key codes (OPSs). RESULTS: Comparing the first year of the pandemic with the same period 1 year before, a persistent decrease of 14% in skin cancer cases (n = 19 063) was observed. The largest decrease of 24% was seen in non-invasive in situ tumours (n = 1665), followed by non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) with a decrease of 16% (n = 15 310) and malignant melanoma (MM) with a reduction of 7% (n = 2088). Subgroup analysis showed significant differences in the distribution of sex, age, hospital carrier type and hospital volume. There was a decrease of 17% in surgical procedures (n = 22 548), which was more pronounced in minor surgical procedures with a decrease of 24.6% compared to extended skin surgery including micrographic surgery with a decrease of 15.9%. CONCLUSIONS: Hospital admissions and surgical procedures decreased persistently since the beginning of the pandemic in Germany for skin cancer patients. The higher decrease in NMSC cases compared to MM might reflect a prioritization effect. Further evidence from tumour registries is needed to investigate the consequences of the therapy delay and identify the upcoming challenges in skin cancer care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Melanoma , Skin Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Inpatients , Melanoma/epidemiology , Melanoma/pathology , Melanoma/therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/therapy
17.
Clin Exp Dermatol ; 47(8): 1581-1582, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846197

ABSTRACT

We performed a prospective analysis of Breslow thickness in melanoma before the COVID-19 pandemic and after. It shows that there is a statistically significant increase in melanoma thickness, and ultimately melanoma staging, since the pandemic began.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Melanoma , Skin Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Melanoma/epidemiology , Melanoma/pathology , Neoplasm Staging , Pandemics , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/pathology , United Kingdom/epidemiology
18.
Hautarzt ; 73(3): 212-215, 2022 Mar.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1838290

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The advantages and disadvantages of the nationwide skin cancer screening which was introduced in 2008 are regularly discussed. OBJECTIVES: Do missed skin cancer screenings change the tumor depths? METHODS: Evaluation and analysis of office data from the second quarters of 2019, 2020 and 2021 were compared using the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Welch's F test. RESULTS: There was a significant increase in the tumor thickness in squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, while there was only a tendency due to the small amount of data available for malignant melanoma. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the analysis emphasize the importance of the skin cancer screening as a method of early detection and reduction of mutilating operations and expensive immunotherapies by the prompt detection of malignant tumors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Basal Cell , Dermatology , Skin Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carcinoma, Basal Cell/diagnosis , Dermatology/methods , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin Neoplasms/diagnosis , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/pathology
19.
J Drugs Dermatol ; 21(5): 545-547, 2022 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1836610

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Mohs micrographic surgeries (MMS) were delayed over concerns for propagating further infectious spread and scarcity of medical resources. OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of the pandemic on MMS and the treatment of skin cancer Methods and Materials: An electronic survey was sent to fellowship trained Mohs surgeons to assess patient outcomes, practice viability, and physician sentiment related to performing MMS during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: Of the 303 respondents, 82% reported declines in case volume for at least 3 months, and average case difficulty increased for 69% of surgeons following these delays. Instances of local tumor spread following delays were seen by 69% of respondents, and 20% noted cases of regional or systemic metastasis. Only 8 cases of staff testing positive (and 7 cases of patients) were reported, and 97% of respondents felt comfortable performing MMS during the pandemic. Private practice surgeons more often viewed practice restriction recommendations negatively initially (42% vs 26% in academics, P=0.03) and in hindsight (63% vs 36% in academics, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Mohs surgeon’s ability to minimize spread of COVID-19 during routine patient care, alongside potential risks of delaying treatment of skin cancers, should be considered in future recommendations for patient care. J Drugs Dermatol. 2022;21(5):545-547. doi:10.36849/JDD.6189.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Skin Neoplasms , Surgeons , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mohs Surgery/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/pathology , Skin Neoplasms/surgery , Surveys and Questionnaires
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