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Remschmidt, B; Gaessler, J; Brcic, L; Wallner, J; Muallah, D; Rieder, M.
The impact of COVID-19 on oral squamous cell carcinoma's diagnostic stage-A retrospective study.
Oral Dis. 2022; Doi: 10.1111/odi.14441
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Führende Autor*innen der Med Uni Graz
Remschmidt Bernhard
Rieder Marcus
Co-Autor*innen der Med Uni Graz
Brcic Luka
Wallner Jürgen
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Abstract:
OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on patients' access to primary care services. A timely diagnosis of oral squamosa cell carcinoma is paramount. This study aims to quantify the pandemic's effect on tumor volume at the time of initial diagnosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a retrospective study, all primarily diagnosed cancer patients between March 2018 and March 2022 were compiled; the TNM stage and the tumor volume were evaluated. Tumor volumes were calculated using pathology or radiology reports. RESULTS: In total, 162 newly diagnosed tumor cases were included in this study. Of these, 76 (46.9%) cases were allocated in the "pre-COVID-19" group and 86 (53.1%) in the "COVID-19" group. Patients diagnosed during the "COVID-19" period showed a significantly advanced T stage (p < 0.001) and larger mean tumor volumes (53.16 ± 73.55 cm3 vs. 39.89 ± 102.42 cm3 ; p = 0.002) when compared to the control group. CONCLUSION: Tumor volume and T stage were significantly advanced in the "COVID-19" group when compared to prepandemic data. We hypothesize that the postponement of routine dental check-ups may explain this finding. Hence, dentists and primary care providers are encouraged to place particular emphasis on screening during routine check-ups.

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