RESEARCH PAPER
Not as black as it is painted? The impact of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic on surgical treatment of urological cancer patients in Poland – a cross-country experience
 
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1
Department of General, Oncological and Functional Urology, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
2
Department of Urology, Medical University of Silesia, Poland
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Department of Urology, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Poland
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Department of Urology and Oncologic Urology, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland
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Department of Urology, Roefler Memorial Hospital in Pruszkow, Poland
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Department of General and Oncologic Urology, Antoni Jurasz University Hospital No. 1 in Bydgoszcz, Poland
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Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury, Poland
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Urology Clinic of Medical Postgraduate Education Center, Department of Urology, Independent Public Hospital them. Prof. W. Orlowski, Poland
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Department of Urology and Urooncology, Multispecialty Regional Hospital in Gorzow Wielkopolski, Poland
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Department of Urology, Jan Biziel University Hospital, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Aleksander Ślusarczyk   

Department of General, Oncological and Functional Urology, Medical University of Warsaw, Linleya 4, 02-005, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2020-10-09
Final revision date: 2020-11-12
Acceptance date: 2020-11-27
Online publication date: 2021-02-03
 
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
Urology
 
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
In the majority of Western European countries, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a dramatic reduction in urooncological surgeries. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on volume and patterns of urooncological surgery in Poland.

Material and methods:
This is a retrospective analysis of 10 urologic centres in Poland. Data regarding major oncological procedures performed after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak (March 15, 2020 – May 31, 2020) were evaluated and compared with data from the respective period in 2019.

Results:
Between March 15, 2020 and May 31, 2020, a total of 968 oncological procedures were performed in participating centres. When compared to the respective period in 2019 (1063 procedures) the overall number of surgeries declined by 8.9%. The reduction was observed for transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT) (20.1%) and partial nephrectomies (PN) (16.5%). Surgical activity considering radical nephrectomy (RN), nephroureterectomy (NU), and radical prostatectomy (RP) remained relatively unchanged, whereas radical cystectomy (RC) burden showed a significant increase (90.9%). Characteristics of patients treated with TURBT, RC, NU, PN, and RN did not differ significantly between the compared periods, whereas RP in the COVID-19 period was performed more frequently in patients with a higher grade group (p = 0.028) and positive digital rectal examination (p = 0.007).

Conclusions:
Surgical activity for urological cancers in Poland has been maintained during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Polish strategy in the initial period of the COVID-19 crisis mirrors the scenario of hard initial lockdown followed by adaptive lockdown, during which oncological care remained undisrupted and did not require particular priority triage.

eISSN:1896-9151
ISSN:1734-1922