Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to health-care services and delivery worldwide. The impact of the pandemic and associated national lockdowns on lung cancer incidence in England have yet to be assessed. Research Question: What was the impact of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence and presentation of lung cancer in England? Study Design and Methods: In this retrospective observational study, incidence rates for lung cancer were calculated from The National Lung Cancer Audit Rapid Cancer Registration Datasets for 2019 and 2020, using midyear population estimates from the Office of National Statistics as the denominators. Rates were compared using Poisson regression according to time points related to national lockdowns in 2020. Results: Sixty-four thousand four hundred fifty-seven patients received a diagnosis of lung cancer across 2019 (n = 33,088) and 2020 (n = 31,369). During the first national lockdown, a 26% reduction in lung cancer incidence was observed compared with the equivalent calendar period of 2019 (adjusted incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.74; 95% CI, 0.71-0.78). This included a 23% reduction in non-small cell lung cancer (adjusted IRR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.74-0.81) and a 45% reduction in small cell lung cancer (adjusted IRR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.46-0.65) incidence. Thereafter, incidence rates almost recovered to baseline, without overcompensation (adjusted IRR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.98). Interpretation: The incidence rates of lung cancer in England fell significantly by 26% during the first national lockdown in 2020 and did not compensate later in the year.
- lung cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine