The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis of childhood, teenage and young adult cancers
What is the aim of the study and why is it important?
In the United Kingdom (UK), the commonest cause of death in children, teenage and young adults (TYA) is cancer. Diagnostic delays are known to play a role. By increasing delays, the COVID-19 pandemic may worryingly contribute to worsening morbidity and mortality associated with cancer. There is an urgent need to explore the extent of these delays.
Using the UK’s largest general practice (GP) database, QResearch, we will identify children and TYA who have been diagnosed with cancer during the pandemic period and compare the characteristics and length of time taken to diagnose their cancer to those who were diagnosed three consecutive years prior to the pandemic.
Our goal is to ensure that appropriate policy and awareness strategies are put in place now, preparing us for the recovery period and any future resurgence of COVID-19 or other pandemic threats.
Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox
University of Oxford
Location of research
University of Oxford
Date on which research approved
Project reference ID
Generic ethics approval reference
Are all data accessed are in anonymised form?
Brief summary of the dataset to be released (including any sensitive data)
General Practice data: demographics, symptoms, diagnoses (of leukaemias, lymphomas, central nervous system tumours, sarcomas, and Wilms tumour), number of presentations, referral type, ICD9, and ICD10 codes.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data: admission route, diagnoses, ICD9, and ICD10, as above.
Civil Registry data: date and cause of death.
Cancer Registry data: diagnosis (type and site of cancer), date of diagnosis, stage of cancer, and route to diagnosis.
Dr Defne Saatci, University of Oxford
Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox, University of Oxford
Dr Jason Oke, University of Oxford
Professor Anthony Harnden, University of Oxford
- Alarm over ‘serious’ delays in diagnosing childhood cancer in England
- Concern over dip in cancer diagnoses among children during pandemic
- Concern over dip in cancer diagnoses among children during pandemic (1)