Delay in Breast Cancer Treatments During the First COVID-19 Lockdown. A Multicentric Analysis of 432 Patients

Gianluca Vanni, Giovanni Tazzioli, Marco Pellicciaro, Marco Materazzo, Orsaria Paolo, Francesca Cattadori, Francesca Combi, Simona Papi, Chiara Adriana Pistolese, Maria Cotesta, Francesca Santori, Jonathan Caspi, Agostino Chiaravalloti, Saverio Muscoli, Vittorio Lombardo, Antonella Grasso, Lorenza Caggiati, Roberta Raselli, Dante Palli, Vittorio AltomareRolando Maria D'Angelillo, Leonardo Palombi, Oreste Claudio Buonomo

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BACKGROUND/AIM: Extraordinary restrictions aimed to limit Sars-CoV-2 spreading; they imposed a total reorganization of the health-system. Oncological treatments experienced a significant slowdown. The aim of our multicentric retrospective study was to evaluate screening suspension and surgical treatment delay during COVID-19 and the impact on breast cancer presentation.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: All patients who underwent breast surgery from March 11, 2020 to May 30, 2020 were evaluated and considered as the Lockdown group. These patients were compared with similar patients of the previous year, the Pre-Lockdown group.

RESULTS: A total of 432 patients were evaluated; n=223 and n=209 in the Lockdown and Pre-lockdown-groups, respectively. At univariate analysis, waiting times, lymph-nodes involvement and cancer grading, showed a statistically significant difference (p<0.05). Multivariate analysis identified waiting-time on list (OR=1.07) as a statistically significant predictive factor of lymph node involvement.

CONCLUSION: Although we did not observe a clinically evident difference in breast cancer presentation, we reported an increase in lymph node involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7119-7125
Number of pages7
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Axilla/pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms/complications
  • COVID-19/complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Mastectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy


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