Objective: Overview of bladder cancer (BC) management in Italy during the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020) with head to head comparison of the data from March 2019, considered "usual activity" period. The aim is to analyze performance of different Italian Centers in North, Center and South, with a special eye for Lombardy (the Italian epicenter). Patients and methods: During April 2020, a survey containing 14 multiple-choice questions focused on general staffing and surgical activity related to BC during the months of March 2019 and March 2020 was sent to 32 Italian Centers. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics (v26) software. A Medline search was performed, in order to attempt a comparative analysis with published papers. Results: 28 Centers answered, for a response rate of 87.5%. Most of the urology staff in the Lombardy region were employed in COVID wards (p = 0.003), with a statistically significant reduction in the number of radical cystectomies (RC) performed during that time (p = 0.036). The total amount of RC across Italy remained the same between 2019 and 2020, however there was an increase in the number of surgeries performed in the Southern region. This was most likely due to travel restrictions limiting travel the North. The number of Trans-Urethral Resection of Bladder Tumors (TURBT) (p = 0.046) was higher in Academic Centers (AC) in 2020 (p = 0.037). Conclusions: The data of our survey, although limited, represents a snap shot of the management of BC during the first month of the COVD-19 pandemic, which posed a major challenge for cancer centers seeking to provide care during an extremely dynamic clinical and political situation which requires maximum flexibility to be appropriately managed.
- Bladder cancer
- Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer
- Trans-urethral resection of bladder tumor
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