Erfurt (dpa/th) - According to Barmer, significantly fewer people in Thuringia were diagnosed with cancer during the corona pandemic than in previous years. The cancer diagnoses in the first Corona year were more than 18 percent below the average cancer incidence in the years 2017 to 2019, said the health insurance company with around 210,000 insured persons in the Free State on Tuesday after an analysis of billing data. Carcinoma diagnoses of the skin, the breast, the prostate and the digestive organs were examined.
While cancer diagnoses in the digestive organs remained at the same level, they were reported to have declined by 20 percent in skin cancer. The decline in breast cancer (minus 34 percent) and prostate cancer (minus 36 percent) was even more pronounced. "The fact that fewer cancer diagnoses were made does not mean that there are actually fewer cancers," says Barmer Birgit Dziuk, state manager.
Dziuk said the decline in cancer diagnoses may have something to do with people avoiding hospitals and doctor's offices out of fear of contracting the coronavirus. Cancer is still the second leading cause of death in Germany and in Thuringia. According to the Cancer Society, the most common carcinomas are colon cancer, breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. The costs for the early detection examination are covered by the statutory health insurance companies.