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The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak on cancer practice in Japan: using an administrative database

By Hisashi Itoshima, Yuka Asami, Jung-ho Shin, Daisuke Takada, Tetsuji Morishita, Seiko Bun, Takuya Okuno, Susumu Kunisawa, Yuichi Imanaka

Posted 18 Nov 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.18.20233700

Background: Recent researches reported the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID - 19) pandemic on the clinical practice of specific type cancers. The aim of this study was to reveal the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the clinical practice of various cancers. Methods: We included hospitalized patients aged 18 years or older diagnosed between July 2018 and June 2020 with one of the top 12 most common cancers in Japan (colon/rectum, lung, gastric, breast, bladder & urinary tract, pancreas, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, liver, prostate, esophagus, uterus, and gallbladder & biliary tract) using Diagnostic Procedure Combination data, an administrative database in Japan. The intervention was defined April 2020 based on a declaration of emergency from Japanese government. The change volume of number of monthly admissions with each cancer was tested by interrupted time series (ITS) analysis, and monthly cases with radical surgery or chemotherapy for each cancer were descripted. Results: 403,344 cases were included during the study period. The most common cancer was colon/rectum (20.5%), followed by lung (17.5%). In almost cancer cases, the number of admissions decreased in May 2020. In particular, colorectal, lung, gastric, breast, uterine, or esophageal cancer cases decreased by over 10%. The number of admissions with surgery or chemotherapy decreased in colorectal, lung, gastric, breast, uterine, or esophageal cancer. ITS analysis indicated that cases with gastric or esophageal cancer were affected more than other type of cancer. Conclusions: The COVID-19 outbreak has a negative impact on the number of admission cases with cancer; the magnitude of impact varied by cancer diagnosis.

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