The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to direct most of the available resources towards its management. This has led to the neglect of all other pathologies, including cancer. The aim of this study was to verify whether the difficulty in accessing the health system has led to a reduction in new diagnoses of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and whether this has already been reflected in a more advanced stage of the cancer. A single-center, retrospective study including adult patients with a new diagnosis of HCC was performed. Patients were divided into three groups: the prelockdown phase (May 2019–February 2020), the lockdown phase (March 2020–December 2020), and the postlockdown phase (January 2021–October 2021); 247 patients were included. The number of patients diagnosed with HCC distinctly diminished in the periods March 2020–December 2020 (n = 69; −35%) and January 2021–October 2021 (n = 72; −32%) as compared to the period May 2019–February 2020 (n = 106). Noteworthy was the reduced surveillance in the period January 2021–October 2021 as compared to May 2019–February 2020 (22.9% vs. 36.6%, p = 0.056). No significant changes have yet been observed in tumor characteristics (BCLC staging distribution remained unvaried, p = 0.665). In conclusion, the number of new HCC diagnoses decreased sharply in the first 2 years of the pandemic, with no worsening of the stage. A more advanced stage of the disease could be expected in the next few years in patients who have escaped diagnosis.

Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Diagnosis: Results from a Tertiary Care Center in North-West Italy

Ribaldone D. G.;Caviglia G. P.;Gaia S.;Rolle E.;Campion D.;Brunocilla P. R.;Saracco G. M.;Carucci P.
2022

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to direct most of the available resources towards its management. This has led to the neglect of all other pathologies, including cancer. The aim of this study was to verify whether the difficulty in accessing the health system has led to a reduction in new diagnoses of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and whether this has already been reflected in a more advanced stage of the cancer. A single-center, retrospective study including adult patients with a new diagnosis of HCC was performed. Patients were divided into three groups: the prelockdown phase (May 2019–February 2020), the lockdown phase (March 2020–December 2020), and the postlockdown phase (January 2021–October 2021); 247 patients were included. The number of patients diagnosed with HCC distinctly diminished in the periods March 2020–December 2020 (n = 69; −35%) and January 2021–October 2021 (n = 72; −32%) as compared to the period May 2019–February 2020 (n = 106). Noteworthy was the reduced surveillance in the period January 2021–October 2021 as compared to May 2019–February 2020 (22.9% vs. 36.6%, p = 0.056). No significant changes have yet been observed in tumor characteristics (BCLC staging distribution remained unvaried, p = 0.665). In conclusion, the number of new HCC diagnoses decreased sharply in the first 2 years of the pandemic, with no worsening of the stage. A more advanced stage of the disease could be expected in the next few years in patients who have escaped diagnosis.
29
3
1422
1429
Alcohol; Cirrhosis; Europe; HBV; HCV; Multifocal; NAFLD; Nodule; SARS-CoV-2; Ultrasound
Ribaldone D.G.; Caviglia G.P.; Gaia S.; Rolle E.; Risso A.; Campion D.; Brunocilla P.R.; Saracco G.M.; Carucci P.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
curroncol-29-00119-v2 (1).pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo di file: PDF EDITORIALE
Dimensione 468.94 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
468.94 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1851103
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact