An estimated 5000 expected new cancer diagnoses not yet made [BCR]

An estimated 5000 expected new cancer diagnoses not yet made [BCR]

The expedited delivery of data by the laboratories for pathological anatomy enabled the Belgian Cancer Registry to complete its study on the impact of COVID-19 on the number of new cancer diagnoses in Belgium.

In July, the Belgian Cancer Registry published the results of a first study on the impact of the corona crisis. This study showed that the number of cancer diagnoses declinedby nearly half in April 2020 when compared to April 2019. At that moment, the first wave of the corona crisis had just peaked in Belgium.

The figures up to September 18 2020 suggest that a recovery has been initiated. Compared to the same period in 2019, the decrease in the number of cancer diagnoses between March 1 and September 18, 2020 amounted to just 14% of the number of last year’s diagnoses.

In absolute numbers, this means that about 5000 cancer diagnoses have not yet been made during the period of March-September 2020. This number corresponds roughly to a month of cancer diagnoses in Belgium under normal circumstances (5.725 new cancer diagnoses).

The sudy is available:

The methodology is available:


HELICON is funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy (BELSPO) through the BRAIN-be 2.0 (2018-2023) programme.

BRAIN-be logoBELSPO logo

Information sheet for participants: EN • NL • FR

Project coordinator

Prof. dr. Brecht Devleesschauwer

Sciensano, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Service Health Information