Fallara G, Sandin F, Styrke J, Carlsson S, Lissbrant IF, Ahlgren J, Bratt O, Lambe M, Stattin P
Scand J Urol - (-) 1-8 [2021-04-29; online 2021-04-29]
The first case of COVID-19 in Sweden was diagnosed in late January 2020, the first recommendations against the spread of the virus were released in mid-March, and the peak of the first wave of the pandemic was reached in March-June. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the short-term effects of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis, staging, and treatment. Data in the National Prostate Cancer Register (NPCR) of Sweden on newly diagnosed PCa cases and on the number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed between 18 March 2020 and 2 June 2020 were compared with those in the corresponding time periods in 2017-2019, as reported until January 31 of the year after each study period. During the study period in 2020, 36% fewer PCa cases were registered in NPCR compared with the corresponding time period in previous years: 1458 cases in 2020 vs a mean of 2285 cases in 2017-2019. The decrease in new PCa registrations was more pronounced in men above age 75 years, down 51%, than in men aged 70-75, down 37%, and in men below age 70, down 28%. There was no decrease in the number of radical prostatectomies and number of radical radiotherapy courses increased by 32%. During the peak of the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of men diagnosed with PCa in Sweden decreased by one third compared with previous years, whereas there was no decrease in the number of curative treatments.