George Dickstein, MD. Gastroenterologist at Greater Boston Gastroenterology: By most estimates it will be years, and the human and financial cost in missed opportunities to find colon cancer early or prevent it by adenoma removal is difficult to fathom. Groups traditionally challenged by healthcare disparities will be even more disadvantaged in this regard. This challenge is further compounded by the lack of anesthesiologists, CRNAs and endoscopists we are facing in many markets.
Nationally, moratoria on elective procedures led to a steep dropoff in screenings for cancers, including colorectal cancer. In late summer of 2020, it was estimated that CRC screenings dropped by 86 percent As a result of this challenge, some gastroenterologists advocate for more shared decision making with patients about noncolonoscopic modalities for screening, despite the superior performance of colonoscopy, as the backlog will take three to four years without this type of strategy.