The COVID-19 pandemic has had a broad impact on virtually all health care delivery, but one of the hardest hit areas is screening for colorectal cancer and subsequent follow-up for the disease. One institution’s analysis found that almost 10,000 fewer colonoscopies were performed in 2020 than 2019.
“The takeaway from our data is that as fewer colonoscopies occurred, fewer new-patient visits for CRC occurred,” said co-lead author Nicholas Perkons, an MD-PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, in Philadelphia.
In a poster presented at the 2021 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (abstract 30), Perkons and his colleagues reported results from a retrospective cohort study of patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal malignancies during and before the pandemic within the University of Pennsylvania health system. They collected data on patient encounters from both 2019 and 2020 for their comparisons.