Has COVID-19 Led to More Advanced Cancers?

Months of lockdowns throughout 2020 brought mass cancer screening programs to a halt in the United States. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Cancer Society recommended that “no one should go to a health care facility for routine cancer screening.”

For example, from March to June 2020 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, cancer screening fell by 60%-82% for five common screening tests: low-dose CT, Pap smear, colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen testing, and mammography.

Oncologists and pathologists have wondered whether the pause in screening will ultimately leave patients with asymptomatic cancers or precursor lesions worse off.

Tell us whether restrictions on cancer screening over the last year have affected the clinical presentation of your patients.

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