Breast Cancer Surgery in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Validation of a Preventive Program for Patients and Health Care Workers

Piero Fregatti, Marco Gipponi, Maria Giacchino, Marco Sparavigna, Raquel Diaz, Emanuela Fioravanti, Chiara Cornacchia, Benedetta Conte, Matteo Lambertini, Gabriele Zoppoli, Federica Murelli, Maria Luisa Toni, Maria Teresa Calabro, Lina Orsino, Daniele Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND/AIM: The perspective validation of a selective approach in patients undergoing breast cancer surgery was performed in order to assess whether patients as well as Health Care Workers (HCWs) were exposed to any undue risk of COVD-19 infection. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From March 9th to June 9th 2020, 207 patients were phone-triaged by a dedicated Breast Care Nurse; a patient-tailored program was adopted with the aim of avoiding hospitalization of SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic patients, with a careful prioritization of surgical procedures according to specific disease features. RESULTS: Two hundred and three out of 207 patients underwent operation; seven patients were temporarily excluded because they tested positive at phone triage (n=3), or in-hospital triage (n=3); another asymptomatic patient with negative NP swab tested IgM Ab-positive so that surgery was re-scheduled two weeks later. Four patients had no surgery; one of them was reconsidered for neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) after testing positive at phone triage; three patients were excluded because they were already hospitalized for COVID-19. Overall, mean in-hospital stay was 2.2 days (±SD, 0.7) and, after hospital discharge, no patient required readmission. CONCLUSION: This preventive program avoided any COVID-19 infection among patients and HCWs, so that an elective breast cancer surgical procedure can be safely and timely pursued without affecting the oncologic outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-639
Number of pages5
JournalIn vivo (Athens, Greece)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021


  • breast cancer
  • clinical management
  • COVID19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology


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