Breast cancer and COVID - 19: The effect of fear on patients' decision-making process
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Background/Aim: Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak is currently having a huge impact on medical resource allocation. Breast Cancer (BC) patients are concerned both with BC treatment and COVID-19. This study aimed to estimate the impact of anxiety among patients, caused by the spreading of COVID-19. Patients and Methods: Between the 16th of January and the 20th of March 2020, we retrospectively enrolled 160 patients. Eighty-two patients with a suspected breast lesion (SBL) were divided into two groups: PRE-COVID-19-SBL and POST-COVID-19-SBL. Seventy-eight BC patients were divided into PRE-COVID-19-BC and POST-COVID-19-BC. Patient characteristics including age, marital status, SBL/BC diameter, personal and family history of BC, clinical stage and molecular subtype were recorded. Procedure Refusal (PR) and Surgical Refusal (SR) were also recorded with their reason. Results: BC and SBL analysis showed no difference in pre-treatment characteristics (p>0.05). Both POSTCOVID- 19-SBL and POST-COVID-19-BC groups showed higher rates of PR and SR (p=0.0208, p=0.0065 respectively). Infection risk represented primary reason for refusal among POST-COVID-19 patients. Conclusion: COVID-19-related anxiety could affect patients' decisionmaking process.