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JAMA Netw Open ; 4(9): e2126334, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427027


Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed medical consultations, possibly leading to the diagnosis of gastrointestinal cancer at advanced stages. Objective: To evaluate stage at diagnosis among patients with gastrointestinal cancer in Japan before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study included patients in a hospital-based cancer registry who were diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer (ie, esophageal, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, liver, and biliary tract cancers) between January 2016 and December 2020 at 2 tertiary Japanese hospitals. Exposures: The pre-COVID-19 period was defined as January 2017 to February 2020, and the COVID-19 period was defined as March 2020 to December 2020. Main Outcome and Measure: Monthly numbers of patients with newly diagnosed cancer were aggregated, classified by stage, and compared. Results: The study evaluated 5167 patients, including 4218 patients (2825 [67.0%] men; mean [SD] age, 71.3 [10.9] years) in the pre-COVID-19 period and 949 patients (607 [64.0%] men; mean [SD] age, 71.8 [10.7] years) in the COVID-19 period. Comparing the pre-COVID-19 period with the COVID-19 period, significant decreases were observed in the mean (SD) number of patients with newly diagnosed gastric cancer (30.63 [6.62] patients/month vs 22.40 [5.85] patients/month; -26.87% change; P < .001) and colorectal cancer (41.61 [6.81] patients/month vs 36.00 [6.72] patients/month; -13.47% change; P = .03). Significant decreases were also observed in the mean (SD) number of cases of stage I gastric cancer (21.55 [5.66] cases/month vs 13.90 [5.99] cases/month; -35.51% change; P < .001), stage 0 colorectal cancer (10.58 [3.36] cases/month vs 7.10 [4.10] cases/month; -32.89% change; P = .008), and stage I colorectal cancer (10.16 [3.14] cases/month vs 6.70 [2.91] cases/month; -34.04% change; P = .003). No significant increases were observed for esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, liver, or biliary tract cancers. A significant decrease was observed in the mean (SD) number of cases per month of stage II colorectal cancer (7.42 [3.06] cases/month vs 4.80 [1.75] cases/month; -35.32% change; P = .01); a significant increase was observed for the mean (SD) number of cases per month of stage III colorectal cancer (7.18 [2.85] cases/month vs 12.10 [2.42] cases/month; 68.42% change; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of patients in a hospital-based cancer registry form Japan, significantly fewer patients were diagnosed with stage I gastric and colorectal cancers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the number of screening-detected cancers might have decreased, and colorectal cancer may have been diagnosed at more advanced stages.

Biliary Tract Neoplasms/diagnosis , COVID-19 , Early Detection of Cancer , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Liver Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pancreatic Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Delayed Diagnosis/trends , Female , Humans , Japan , Male , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Neoplasm Staging , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
J Infect Public Health ; 14(9): 1212-1217, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364265


BACKGROUND: Many health care workers around the world tackled with COVID-19, however sadly, the infection of many medical care workers were reported. To reduce the risk of infection, we launched selected team (Team COVID) of non-specialists and brought in active telemedicine method and computed tomography (CT)-first protocol. We describe our actual practice and the health status of medical doctors dealing with COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Between April 17, 2020 and May 24, 2020, 10 doctors worked with COVID-19 patients as part of Team COVID. The Team COVID doctors used a CT-first triage protocol for outpatients and telemedicine for inpatients and outpatients. We evaluated paired serum-specific antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 at the initial and end of the study duration and PCR results for SARS-CoV-2 at the end of the study duration. Furthermore, 36-item short-form of the Medical Outcome Study Questionnaire (SF-36) at the beginning and end of the study period were evaluated. RESULTS: Ten doctors worked as Team COVID: seven internal medicine doctors and three surgeons. During the study period, Team COVID treated 165 individuals in the outpatient clinic and isolated hospitalized patients for 315 person-days. There were no positive results of serum-specific antibody testing and PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 in Team COVID doctors. Furthermore, the SF-36 showed no deterioration in physical and mental QOL status. No in-hospital infection occurred during the study period. CONCLUSIONS: The Team COVID fulfilled the treatment using the active telemedicine and CT-first triage protocol without in hospital infection and excess stress. The combination strategy seems acceptable for both the protection and stress relief among the medical staff.

COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Triage