Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer inpatient treatment in Germany – a nationwide analysis

  • Background: SARS-CoV-2 has massively changed the care situation in hospitals worldwide. Although tumour care should not be affected, initial reports from European countries were suggestive for a decrease in skin cancer during the first pandemic wave and only limited data are available thereafter. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate skin cancer cases and surgeries in a nationwide inpatient dataset in Germany. Methods: Comparative analyses were performed in a prepandemic (18 March 2019 until 17 March 2020) and a pandemic cohort (18 March 2020 until 17 March 2021). Cases were identified and analysed using the WHO international classification of diseases codes (ICDs) and process key codes (OPSs). Results: Comparing the first year of the pandemic with the same period 1 year before, a persistent decrease of 14% in skin cancer cases (n = 19 063) was observed. The largest decrease of 24% was seen in non-invasive in situ tumours (n = 1665), followed by non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) with a decrease of 16% (n = 15 310) and malignant melanoma (MM) with a reduction of 7% (n = 2088). Subgroup analysis showed significant differences in the distribution of sex, age, hospital carrier type and hospital volume. There was a decrease of 17% in surgical procedures (n = 22 548), which was more pronounced in minor surgical procedures with a decrease of 24.6% compared to extended skin surgery including micrographic surgery with a decrease of 15.9%. Conclusions: Hospital admissions and surgical procedures decreased persistently since the beginning of the pandemic in Germany for skin cancer patients. The higher decrease in NMSC cases compared to MM might reflect a prioritization effect. Further evidence from tumour registries is needed to investigate the consequences of the therapy delay and identify the upcoming challenges in skin cancer care.

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Author:Johannes KleemannORCiDGND, Markus MeissnerORCiDGND, Deniz ÖzistanbulluGND, Ümniye BalabanORCiDGND, Oliver OldORCiDGND, Stefan KippenbergerORCiDGND, Jan Andreas KlokaORCiDGND, Roland KaufmannGND, Kai ZacharowskiORCiDGND, Benjamin FriedrichsonORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Place of publication:Oxford [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2022/05/15
Date of first Publication:2022/05/15
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/11/01
Page Number:8
First Page:1766
Last Page:1773
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International