In the Massachusetts General Brigham healthcare system alone, about 1,438 cancerous and precancerous lesions may have gone undiagnosed from March to June 2020 because of pandemic-related disruptions in screenings, reports a JAMA Oncology research letter today.
Fortunately, the data also indicated that in the subsequent 3 months, screening quantities were trending toward normal in the healthcare system, which is the largest in the Northeast.
“This investigation is especially timely given that we are currently dealing with a second, and potentially worse wave of the pandemic,” said co-senior author Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, in a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute press release.
“We have learned to leverage a redesigned patient flow, increased use of telehealth, and made other accommodations to allow our patients to continue receiving standard of care cancer screening and diagnosis in the safest possible environment.”
Screenings fall 76%
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