Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis of patients with laryngeal cancer
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Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Diseases, School of Medicine, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Faculty of Medicine, Academy of Applied Medical and Social Science in Elbląg, Poland
Submission date: 2023-11-12
Final revision date: 2023-12-02
Acceptance date: 2023-12-05
Online publication date: 2023-12-27
Corresponding author
Edyta Zomkowska   

Faculty of Medicine, Academy of Applied Medical and Social Sciences in Elbląg, Lotnicza 2, 82-300 Elbląg, Poland.
Acta Elbingensia 2023;50(1):57-62
Patients’ access to public healthcare has been limited during the COVID-19 pandemic. The psychological factor – the fear of patients and medical staff of infection, especially before the introduction of vaccinations – had also a negative impact on the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

The aim of the study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the degree of advancement of laryngeal cancer in patients referring for diagnosis and treatment to a IV-level clinical referral hospital.

Material and methods:
The medical documentation of patients presenting to IVth level reference clinical hospital was retrospectively analyzed in pre-, during and post-pandemic period of time. The total number of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED), inclusive of those receiving otolaryngological consultation, patients diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and advancement stage of disease was assessed. Additionally the comprehensive count of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures pertaining to the larynx and trachea, during the three above mentioned periods of time was performed.

Results and discussion:
The study revealed a significant decrease in the number of patients presenting to the ED during the pandemic, with a more pronounced drop among otolaryngological patients. The number of patients with laryngeal tumor treated in our hospital as well as the number of laryngeal diagnostic and therapeutic procedures remained stable throughout analysed periods of time. During pandemic period significant drop of patients with early-stage (T1) laryngeal cancers was observed.

Despite maintained surgical activity in level IV reference hospital, fewer patients with early stage of laryngeal cancer (T1) were diagnosed and treated during pandemic.

Not declared.
Not declared.
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