The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on cancer diagnosis in general and specialized practices in Germany. This study included a total of 102,009 patients aged ≥18 years newly diagnosed with cancer in 1660 practices in Germany from January to May 2019 and from January to May 2020. Practices included general, gynecology, ear, nose, and throat (ENT), dermatology, and urology practices. New cancer diagnoses included all types of cancer and corresponded to cancers not previously documented in the database for a given patient. The number of new cancer diagnoses per general practice decreased significantly between March and May 2020 compared with the same period in 2019 (March: −12.0%, April: −27.6%, and May: −23.4%). A similar trend was observed in specialized practices, and this trend was more pronounced in April 2020 (dermatology: −44.4%, gynecology: −32.0%, and ENT: −28.2%). In addition, there was a significant decrease in almost all sex and age groups in April and May 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Finally, the decrease in the number of new cancer diagnoses was particularly pronounced among cancers of the skin and the respiratory and intrathoracic organs. Together, these data show that the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant negative impact on cancer diagnosis in Germany, highlighting the need for public health measures improving the management of cancer in this country during this ongoing pandemic.
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