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Insight into the management of patients with melanoma in times of the COVID-19 pandemic - a single-center experience.

Authors :
Nikolić, Jelena
Marinković, Marija
Jovanović, Mladen
Mijatov, Ivana
Leković-Stojanov, Dragana
Kecman, Stefan
Source :
Vojnosanitetski Pregled: Military Medical & Pharmaceutical Journal of Serbia. Apr2024, Vol. 81 Issue 4, p197-202. 6p.
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Background/Aim. Despite all innovations in medicine, melanoma still has a rising incidence and high mortality and thus represents a significant challenge for the healthcare system. The pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), spanning three years, redirected healthcare resources, suspended preventive programs, and strained the healthcare system, significantly impacting melanoma management. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the treatment of melanoma patients. Methods. This retrospective study analyzed melanoma patients treated at a single tertiary care center over two distinct three-year periods: pre-COVID period (2017-2020) and the COVID-19 pandemic period (2020-2022). The following data were collected and compared: patient demographics, melanoma characteristics, time intervals from biopsy to surgery, and the share of thin and thick melanoma. Results. During the COVID-19 pandemic period, there was a 3 0% reduction in melanoma patients compared to the pre-COVID-19 period. The decline was most pronounced in 2020 when the state of emergency was introduced in the country. Thin melanoma percentage as a measurement of successful screening programs decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic (11.57% vs. 24.01%), while median Breslow thickness remained stable. The distribution of different histological types was consistent across both periods. The average time from biopsy to surgery remained similar between the two periods, around 40 days. Conclusion. Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, melanoma remains a critical healthcare issue. This study emphasized the significance of prioritizing melanoma care in emergencies, ensuring patient identification and timely treatment in order to optimize survival and minimize treatment costs. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


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Vojnosanitetski Pregled: Military Medical & Pharmaceutical Journal of Serbia
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Academic Journal
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