Background: COVID-19 pandemic required a marked re-allocation of healthcare resources, including at Breast Units. A patient-tailored program was developed to assess its efficacy regarding prevention of COVID-19 infection among patients with breast cancer undergoing surgery and healthcare workers (HCWs). Patients and Methods: From March 9th to April 9th 2020, 91 patients were selected for elective surgery by means of: i) Prehospital screening aimed at avoiding hospitalization of symptomatic or suspicious COVID-19 patients, and ii) prioritisation of surgical procedure according to specific disease features. Results: Eighty-five patients (93.4%) were fit for surgery, while five patients (5.5%) were temporarily excluded through 'telephone triage'; another two patients were excluded at in-hospital triage. A total of 71 out of 85 patients (83.5%) were diagnosed with invasive cancer, most of whom were undergoing breast-conserving surgery (61 out of 85 patients, 71.8%). The mean in-hospital stay was 2.2 days (SD=0.7 days). After hospital discharge, no patient needed re-admission due to post-operative complications; moreover, no COVID-19 infection among patients or HCWs was detected. Conclusion: Safe breast cancer surgery was accomplished for both patients and HCWs by means of a careful preoperative selection of patients and in-hospital preventative measures. This screening program can be transferred to high-volume Breast Units and it may be useful in implementing European Community recommendations for prevention of COVID-19 infection.
- Breast cancer
- Clinical management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)