Cancer care in Belgium was heavily affected by the corona pandemic and the necessary measures taken by the government. On March 14, 2020, all non-essential consultations, medical tests, and interventions were temporarily halted. Around this same time, population screening for breast, cervical, and colon cancer were likewise stopped.
Thanks to the expedited delivery of data by the laboratories for pathological anatomy, the Belgian Cancer Registry was able to make an initial estimate of the decline in the number of new cancer diagnoses.
Each month in Belgium, there is an average of 5725 new cancer diagnoses expected*. Recent analyses by the Belgian Cancer Registry show that, after an initial rapid decline in the month of March, the number of new cancer diagnoses in the month of April 2020 declined by nearly half (44%) compared to April 2019. For men, this was a decline of 43%, and for women, 45%. By mid-April, the numbers began to increase again, and we hope that this increase has continued.
The press release is available:
- in English: https://kankerregister.org/media/docs/cijfersoverkanker/Persbericht-Impact-Coronacrisis_Engels.pdf
- in Dutch: https://kankerregister.org/media/docs/cijfersoverkanker/Persbericht-Kanker-Impact-Coronacrisis.pdf
- in French: https://kankerregister.org/media/docs/cijfersoverkanker/ComPresseFR-Cancer-Impact-CriseCoronavirus.pdf