Trends in prostate cancer diagnosis during the COVID-19 crisis: A report from one high-volume Japanese center

Yamada D, Kawai T, Sato Y, Yamada Y, Akiyama Y, Miyakawa J, Takahashi S, Kume H


Self-isolation to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 began in April 2020. As a result, the number of prostate needle biopsies taken at our hospital for suspicion of prostate cancer decreased by 30.5%, from 403 in 2019 to 280 in 2020. The number of diagnoses of prostate cancer decreased by 35.4% from 189 to 122. Highrisk and intermediate-risk prostate cancers were 36.5% and 49.7%, respectively, in 2019. Assuming that this situation in our hospital reflects events nationwide, approximately 32,575 (high-risk; 11,890, intermediate risk; 16,189) patients annually would be suffering delays in diagnosis. Furthermore, > 90% of the decrease are curable cases in their 60s and 70s, with prostate specific antigen levels of 30 ng/mL or less, with stage T2, and N0M0. Widely aware that more than 30,000 prostate cancers might be overlooked nationwide in 2020, we recommend establishing a health checkup system with infection control and undergoing early testing.

KEYWORDS: coronavirus, biopsy, SARS-CoV-2, stage, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), age

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