Article Data

  • Views 511
  • Dowloads 168

Original Research

Open Access Special Issue

Decrease in prostate cancer detection during COVID-19 pandemic

  • Daniel Porav-Hodade1
  • Daniel Balan1
  • Raul Gherasim1
  • Oliver Arpad Vida1
  • Ciprian Todea-Moga1
  • Septimiu Voidazan2
  • Orsolya Martha1

1Department of Urology, University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and Technology “George Emil Palade” of Targu Mures, 540124 Targu Mures, Romania

2Department of Epidemiology, University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and Technology “George Emil Palade” of Targu Mures, 540124 Targu Mures, Romania

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.110 Vol.17,Issue 4,September 2021 pp.151-155

Submitted: 20 April 2021 Accepted: 16 June 2021

Published: 30 September 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Daniel Balan E-mail:

PDF (246.1 kB)


Background and objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the detection of prostate cancer in men considered at high risk. This was done by comparing data from the Mures County Clinical Hospital, Clinic of Urology one year before (non-pandemic, NP) and during (pandemic, P) the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A retrospective study was performed based on the Mures County Clinical Hospital database. The inclusion criteria were clinical suspicion (digital rectal examination) and elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level (threshold 3.2 ng/mL). Statistical analysis was performed with STATA 11 Program. Mann-Whitney, Student and chi-square tests were used to compare median PSA, prostate volume, number of TRUSbx performed, number of core biopsies, Gleason Score values, and perineural invasion between the NP and P groups.

Results: A total of 440 patients were studied, comprising 271 in the NP group and 169 in the P group. The average number of TRUSbx procedures was 22.58 per month in 2019 (NP group) and 14.08 per month in 2020 (P group), representing a decrease of 37.65%. Analysis of data for the P and NP groups showed a median PSA of 10.48 vs 10.58, mean prostatic volume of 43.69 vs 43.26, number of core biopsies 11.39 vs 11.70, and Gleason score of 7.31 vs 7.15, respectively. Mann-Whitney U test revealed no statistically significant differences between the two groups, with only the Gleason Score showing a trend for significance (p = 0.065).

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a major decrease in the number of surgeries performed, with TRUSbx declining by almost 40%. No differences between P and NP periods were observed for median PSA, prostate volume, number of core biopsies, and perineural invasion. The Gleason Score showed a slightly higher incidence of advanced prostate cancer in the P group, but this did not reach statistical significance.


Global pandemic; COVID-19; TRUSbx; Prostate biopsy; Prostate cancer

Cite and Share

Daniel Porav-Hodade,Daniel Balan,Raul Gherasim,Oliver Arpad Vida,Ciprian Todea-Moga,Septimiu Voidazan,Orsolya Martha. Decrease in prostate cancer detection during COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Men's Health. 2021. 17(4);151-155.


[1] De Nunzio C, Lombardo R, Presicce F, Bellangino M, Finazzi Agro E, Gambrosier MB, et al. Transrectal-ultrasound prostatic biopsy preparation: rectal enema vs. mechanical bowel preparation. Central European Journal of Urology. 2015; 68: 223–228.

[2] Center MM, Jemal A, Lortet-Tieulent J, Ward E, Ferlay J, Brawley O, et al. International Variation in Prostate Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates. European Urology. 2012; 61: 1079–1092.

[3] Ismail MT, Gomella LG. Transrectal prostate biopsy. the Urologic Clinics of North America. 2013; 40: 457–472.

[4] World Cancer Research Fund International. Prostate cancer statistics. 2018. Available at: (Accessed: 27 May 2021).

[5] Schatten H. Brief Overview of Prostate Cancer Statistics, Grading, Di-agnosis and Treatment Strategies. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2018; 1095: 1–14.

[6] Dovey Z, Mohamed N, Gharib Y, Ratnani P, Hammouda N, Nair SS, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on Prostate Cancer Management: Guidelines for Urologists. European Urology Open Science. 2020; 20: 1–11.

[7] Fu L, Wang B, Yuan T, Chen X, Ao Y, Fitzpatrick T, et al. Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Infection. 2020; 80: 656–665.

[8] Yu J, Ouyang W, Chua MLK, Xie C. SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in Patients with Cancer at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Wuhan, China. JAMA Oncology. 2020; 6: 1108.

[9] Heidenreich A, Bastian PJ, Bellmunt J, Bolla M, Joniau S, van der Kwast T, et al. EAU guidelines on prostate cancer. part 1: screening, diagnosis, and local treatment with curative intent-update 2013. European Urology. 2014; 65: 124–137.

[10] Heidenreich A, Bastian PJ, Bellmunt J, Bolla M, Joniau S, van der Kwast T, et al. EAU guidelines on prostate cancer. Part II: Treatment of advanced, relapsing, and castration-resistant prostate cancer. European Urology. 2014; 65: 467–479.

[11] Bahmad HF, Abou-Kheir W. Crosstalk between COVID-19 and prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 2020; 23: 561–563.

[12] Ginsburg KB, Curtis GL, Timar RE, George AK, Cher ML. Delayed Radical Prostatectomy is not Associated with Adverse Oncologic Outcomes: Implications for Men Experiencing Surgical Delay Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Urology. 2020; 204: 720–725.

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

[14] Wu Z, McGoogan JM. Characteristics of and Important Lessons from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2020; 323: 1239.

[15] Smith J. Overcoming the ‘tyranny of the urgent’: integrating gender into disease outbreak preparedness and response. Gender & Development. 2019; 27: 355–369.

[16] Morgan R, George A, Ssali S, Hawkins K, Molyneux S, Theobald S. How to do (or not to do)… gender analysis in health systems research. Health Policy and Planning. 2016; 31: 1069–1078.

[17] Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, Qu J, Gong F, Han Y, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. The Lancet. 2020; 395: 507–513.

[18] Domenig P, Booher J, Goldman B, Greenlee J, Sircus S, Boura JA, et al. Management of Prostate Cancer During COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspective From Urologists and Radiation Oncologists in COVID Dense Metro Detroit. Cureus. 2020; 12: e9648.

[19] Mahajan V, Singh T, Azad C. Using Telemedicine during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Indian Pediatrics. 2020; 57: 658–661.

[20] Mishra V. Factors affecting the adoption of telemedicine during COVID-19. Indian Journal of Public Health. 2020; 64: S234–S236.

[21] Lurie N, Carr BG. The Role of Telehealth in the Medical Response to Disasters. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2018; 178: 745–746.

[22] Hollander JE, Carr BG. Virtually Perfect? Telemedicine for Covid-19. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020; 382: 1679–1681.

[23] Joshi AU, Randolph FT, Chang AM, Slovis BH, Rising KL, Sabonjian M, et al. Impact of Emergency Department Tele‐intake on Left without being Seen and Throughput Metrics. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2020; 27: 139–147.

[24] 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.

[25] Lotfi M, Hamblin MR, Rezaei N. COVID-19: Transmission, preven-tion, and potential therapeutic opportunities. Clinica Chimica Acta. 2020; 508: 254–266.

Abstracted / indexed in

Science Citation Index Expanded 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.

Social Sciences Citation Index Social Sciences Citation Index contains over 3,400 journals across 58 social sciences disciplines, as well as selected items from 3,500 of the world’s leading scientific and technical journals. More than 9.37 million records and 122 million cited references date back from 1900 to present.

Current Contents - Social & Behavioral Sciences Current Contents - Social & Behavioral Sciences provides easy access to complete tables of contents, abstracts, bibliographic information and all other significant items in recently published issues from over 1,000 leading journals in the social and behavioral sciences.

Current Contents - Clinical Medicine Current Contents - Clinical Medicine provides easy access to complete tables of contents, abstracts, bibliographic information and all other significant items in recently published issues from over 1,000 leading journals in clinical medicine.

SCOPUS 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.

DOAJ DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

CrossRef Crossref makes research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse. Crossref committed to open scholarly infrastructure and collaboration, this is now announcing a very deliberate path.

Portico Portico is a community-supported preservation archive that safeguards access to e-journals, e-books, and digital collections. Our unique, trusted process ensures that the content we preserve will remain accessible and usable for researchers, scholars, and students in the future.

Submission Turnaround Time