Breast cancer screening during covid-19 emergency: Patients and department management in a local experience

Francesca Maio, Daniele Ugo Tari, Vincenza Granata, Roberta Fusco, Roberta Grassi, Antonella Petrillo, Fabio Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: During the COVID-19 public health emergency, our breast cancer screening activities have been interrupted. In June 2020, they resumed, calling for mandatory safe procedures to properly manage patients and staff. Methods: A protocol supporting medical activities in breast cancer screening was created, based on six relevant articles published in the literature and in the following National and International guidelines for COVID-19 prevention. The patient population, consisting of both screening and breast ambulatory patients, was classified into one of four cate-gories: 1. Non-COVID-19 patient; 2. Confirmed COVID-19 in an asymptomatic screening patient; 3. suspected COVID-19 in symptomatic or confirmed breast cancer; 4. Confirmed COVID-19 in symptomatic or confirmed breast cancer. The day before the radiological exam, patients are screened for COVID-19 infection through a telephone questionnaire. At a subsequent in person appointment, the body temperature is checked and depending on the clinical scenario at stake, the scenario-specific procedures for medical and paramedical staff are adopted. Results: In total, 203 mammograms, 76 breast ultrasound exams, 4 core needle biopsies, and 6 vacuum-assisted breast biopsies were performed in one month. Neither medical nor paramedical staff were infected on any of these occasions. Conclusion: Our department organization model can represent a case of implementation of National and International guidelines applied in a breast cancer screening program, assisting hospital personnel into COVID-19 infection prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number380
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 6 2021


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast cancer screening
  • COVID-19
  • Guideline
  • Pandemic
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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