Eklöv K, Nygren J, Bringman S, Löfgren J, Sjövall A, Nordenvall C, Everhov ÅH
Colorectal Dis - (-) - [2022-04-01; online 2022-04-01]
The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the capacity to diagnose and treat cancer worldwide due to the prioritization of COVID-19 treatment. To investigate treatment and outcomes of colon cancer in Sweden before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an observational study, using the Swedish Colorectal Cancer Registry, we included (i) all Swedish patients diagnosed with colon cancer, and (ii) all patients undergoing surgery for colon cancer, in 2016-2020. Incidence of colon cancer, treatments and outcomes in 2020 were compared with 2019. The number of colon cancer cases in Sweden in April-May 2020 was 27% lower than the previous year, whereas no difference was observed on an annual level (4589 vs 4763 patients (-4%)). Among patients with colon cancer undergoing surgery in 2020, the proportion resections was 93% vs 94% in 2019, with no increase in acute resections. Time from diagnosis to elective surgery decreased (29 days vs 33 days in 2020 vs 2019). In 2020, more patients underwent a 2-stage procedure with a diverting stoma as first surgery (6.1%) vs (4.4%) in 2019 (p=0.0020) and more patients were treated with preoperative chemotherapy (5.1%) vs (3,5%) 2019 (p= 0.0016). The proportion of patients that underwent laparoscopic surgery increased from 54% to 58% (p=0.0017) There were no differences in length of stay, surgical complications, reoperation, ICU-stay or 30-day mortality between the years. Based on nationwide annual data, we did not observe adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on colon cancer treatment and short time outcomes in Sweden.