Article Data

  • Views 399
  • Dowloads 113

Original Research

Open Access Special Issue

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Prostate Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

  • Ender Siyez1,*,

1İzmir Demokrasi University Buca Seyfi Demirsoy Training and Research Hospital Urology Clinic, 35390 Buca, İzmir, Turkey

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1808167 Vol.18,Issue 8,August 2022 pp.1-6

Published: 31 August 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and sex differences: is the men at risk?)

*Corresponding Author(s): Ender Siyez E-mail:


Background: COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrates that not only is it causing unprecedented morbidity and death worldwide, its almost unstoppable spread is affecting the diagnosis and treatment of many other acute and chronic diseases. These changes created by the COVID-19 pandemic have had a direct negative impact on cancer screening and new cancer diagnosis. Methods: We aimed to compare prostate specific antigen (PSA) requested, TRUS guided biopsy (TRUS-Bx) and new prostate cancer (PCa) diagnoses from 1 January 2019 to the end of 31 December 2021 both on an annual basis and as a monthly change, and evaluate the percentage change. Patients’ age, prostate volume, PSA values, pathology results of biopsies were analyzed as basic demographic information. Results: From January 2019 through December 2021, there were 18618 PSA testing and 141 TRUS-Bx results from men in the hospital database. When we look at the distribution of PSA test requests by years, we see that 8473 in 2019, 4763 with a decrease of 44% in 2020 and a 12% increase in 2021 compared to 2020, but still 36.5% less in 2019. When we look at the number of TRUS-Bx, we see that we performed a total of 141 TRUS-Bx between January 2019 and December 2021. While we performed 65 TRUS-Bx in 2019 before the pandemic, this figure decreased to 40 with a 38.5% decrease in 2020, while we observed that the similar situation continued with 36 cases in 2021. Conclusions: As a result, our findings show that a significant number of PCa screening opportunities and cancer diagnoses are missed. Delays in cancer diagnosis will cause adverse clinical outcomes in the coming years. Considering that PCa does not pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may cause patients to progress to more advanced disease stage at the time of diagnosis, require more aggressive treatment and even succumb to cancer due to the delays that occur. Further work is required to analyze the assessment of the clinical prognostic impact of cancer diagnosis delays.


COVID-19; cancer diagnosis; prostate cancer

Cite and Share

Ender Siyez. Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Prostate Cancer Screening and Diagnosis. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(8);1-6.


[1] Fan Y, Zhao K, Shi ZL, Zhou P. Bat coronaviruses in China. Viruses. 2019; 11: 210.

[2] Wang C, Horby PW, Hayden FG, Gao GF. A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern. The Lancet. 2020; 395: 470–473.

[3] World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation reports. 2020. Available at: irus-2019/situation-reports (Accessed: 5 March 2020).

[4] World Health Organization. Novel Coronavirus 2019 reports. 2020. Available at: /novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detai l/q-a-coronaviruses (Accessed: 17 March 2020).

[5] Lu H, Stratton CW, Tang YW. Outbreak of pneumonia of un-known etiology in Wuhan, China: The mystery and the miracle. Journal of Medical Virology. 2020; 92: 401.

[6] Kempf E, Lamé G, Layese R, Priou S, Chatellier G, Chaieb H, et al. New cancer cases at the time of SARS-Cov2 pandemic and related public health policies: a persistent and concerning decrease long after the end of the national lockdown. European Journal of Cancer. 2021; 150: 260–267.

[7] London JW, Fazio-Eynullayeva E, Palchuk MB, Sankey P, Mc-Nair C. Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer-Related Patient Encounters. JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics. 2020; 4: 657–665.

[8] Kaufman HW, Chen Z, Niles JK, Radcliff J, Fesko Y. Patterns of Prostate-Specific Antigen Testing and Prostate Biopsies dur-ing the COVID-19 Pandemic. JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics. 2021; 5: 1028–1033.

[9] Chen RC, Haynes K, Du S, Barron J, Katz AJ. Association of Cancer Screening Deficit in the United States with the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Oncology. 2021; 7: 878–884.

[10] Ward ZJ, Walbaum M, Walbaum B, Guzman MJ, Jimenez de la Jara J, Nervi B, et al. Estimating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diagnosis and survival of five cancers in Chile from 2020 to 2030: a simulation-based analysis. The Lancet Oncol-ogy. 2021; 22: 1427–1437.

[11] Jacob L, Loosen SH, Kalder M, Luedde T, Roderburg C, Kostev K. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer diagnoses in general and specialized practices in Germany. Cancers. 2021; 13: 408.

[12] Porav-Hodade D, Balan D, Gherasim R, Vida OA, Todea-Moga C, Voidazan S, et al. Decrease in prostate cancer detection during COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Men’s Health. 2021; 17: 151-–155.

[13] Mangone L, Mancuso P, Bisceglia I, Rossi PG, Chellini E, Ne-gro C, et al. The impact of COVID-19 on new mesothelioma diagnoses in Italy. Thoracic Cancer. 2022; 13: 702–707.

[14] Fallara G, Sandin F, Styrke J, Carlsson S, Lissbrant IF, Ahlgren J, et al. Prostate cancer diagnosis, staging, and treatment in Swe-den during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scandi-navian Journal of Urology. 2021; 55: 184–191.

[15] Sung H, Ferlay J, Siegel RL, Laversanne M, Soerjomataram I, Jemal A, et al. Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Es-timates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2021; 71: 209–249.

[16] Stamey TA, Yang N, Hay AR, McNeal JE, Freiha FS, Redwine E. Prostate-Specific Antigen as a Serum Marker for Adenocarci-noma of the Prostate. New England Journal of Medicine. 1987; 317: 909–916.

[17] Roehrborn CG, Boyle P, Gould AL, Waldstreicher J. Serum prostate-specific antigen as a predictor of prostate volume in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urology. 1999; 53: 581–589.

[18] Oesterling JE. Serum Prostate-Specific Antigen in a Community-Based Population of Healthy Men. JAMA. 1993; 270: 860–864.

[19] Neal RD, Tharmanathan P, France B, Din NU, Cotton S, Fallon-Ferguson J, et al. Is increased time to diagnosis and treatment in symptomatic cancer associated with poorer outcomes? System-atic review. British Journal of Cancer. 2015; 112: S92–S107.

[20] Gurney JK, Millar E, Dunn A, Pirie R, Mako M, Manderson J, et al. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer diagnosis and service access in New Zealand–a country pursuing COVID-19 elimination. The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific. 2021; 10: 100127.

[21] De Vincentiis L, Carr RA, Mariani MP, Ferrara G. Cancer diag-nostic rates during the 2020 ‘lockdown’, due to COVID-19 pan-demic, compared with the 2018–2019: an audit study from cel-lular pathology. Journal of Clinical Pathology. 2021; 74: 187–189.

[22] Xiao F, Tang M, Zheng X, Liu Y, Li X, Shan H. Evidence for Gastrointestinal Infection of SARS-CoV-2. Gastroenterology.

2020; 158: 1831–1833.e3.

[23] Lotfi M, Hamblin MR, Rezaei N. COVID-19: Transmis-sion, prevention, and potential therapeutic opportunities. Clinica Chimica Acta. 2020; 508: 254–266.

[24] Katz EG, Stensland KD, Mandeville JA, MacLachlan LS, Moin-zadeh A, Sorcini A, et al. Triaging Office Based Urology Pro-cedures during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Urology. 2020; 204: 9–10.

[25] Verhoeven V, Tsakitzidis G, Philips H, Van Royen P. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the core functions of primary care: will the cure be worse than the disease? A qualitative interview study in Flemish GPs. BMJ Open. 2020; 10: e039674.

[26] McKay D, Yang H, Elhai J, Asmundson GJG. Anxiety regarding contracting COVID-19 related to interoceptive anxiety sensa-tions: the moderating role of disgust propensity and sensitivity. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 2020; 73: 102233.

[27] Wong LE, Hawkins JE, Langness S, Murrell KL, Iris P, Sam-mann A. Where are all the patients? Addressing COVID-19 fear to encourage sick patients to seek emergency care. NEJM Cata-lyst Innovations in Care Delivery. 2020; 1: 1–12.

[28] Barten DG, Latten GHP, van Osch FHM. Reduced Emergency Department Utilization during the Early Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Viral Fear or Lockdown Effect? Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. 2022; 16: 36–39.

[29] Hugosson J, Carlsson S, Aus G, Bergdahl S, Khatami A, Lod-ding P, et al. Mortality results from the Göteborg randomised population-based prostate-cancer screening trial. The Lancet Oncology. 2010; 11: 725–732.

[30] Gulati R, Tsodikov A, Etzioni R, Hunter-Merrill RA, Gore JL, Mariotto AB, et al. Expected population impacts of discontinued prostate-specific antigen screening. Cancer. 2014; 120: 3519–3526.

[31] Banerji JS, Wolff EM, Massman JD, Odem-Davis K, Porter CR, Corman JM. Prostate Needle Biopsy Outcomes in the Era of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation against Prostate Specific Antigen Based Screening. Journal of Urology. 2016; 195: 66–73.

[32] Bhindi B, Mamdani M, Kulkarni GS, Finelli A, Hamilton RJ, Trachtenberg J, et al. Impact of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations against Prostate Specific Antigen Screening on Prostate Biopsy and Cancer Detection Rates. Jour-nal of Urology. 2015; 193: 1519–1524.

Abstracted / indexed in

Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch) Created as SCI in 1964, Science Citation Index Expanded now indexes over 9,200 of the world’s most impactful journals across 178 scientific disciplines. More than 53 million records and 1.18 billion cited references date back from 1900 to present.

Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition aims to evaluate a journal’s value from multiple perspectives including the journal impact factor, descriptive data about a journal’s open access content as well as contributing authors, and provide readers a transparent and publisher-neutral data & statistics information about the journal.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) DOAJ is a unique and extensive index of diverse open access journals from around the world, driven by a growing community, committed to ensuring quality content is freely available online for everyone.

SCImago The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a publicly available portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus® database (Elsevier B.V.)

Publication Forum - JUFO (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies) Publication Forum is a classification of publication channels created by the Finnish scientific community to support the quality assessment of academic research.

Scopus: CiteScore 0.7 (2022) Scopus is Elsevier's abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Scopus covers nearly 36,377 titles (22,794 active titles and 13,583 Inactive titles) from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields: life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences.

Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers Search for publication channels (journals, series and publishers) in the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers to see if they are considered as scientific. (

Submission Turnaround Time