Colonoscopy screenings, biopsies fall by almost 90%
As of mid-April, the number of colonoscopies and biopsies performed has declined nearly 90% compared to the same period last year, according to new research. In addition, new colorectal cancer diagnoses and colorectal cancer surgeries also saw a steep 32% and 53% decline, respectively, compared to the same time period last year.
According to the report by Komodo Health and Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC), a patient advocacy group, approximately 40% of patients with colorectal cancer and their caregivers have reported interruptions in care, with the biggest impact related to in-person visits and imaging. A quarter of patients said they still do not know when they would be able to reschedule appointments and only 34% reported being able to switch to telehealth care.
The majority of patients with colorectal cancer (78%) said they felt nervous, anxious, or on edge.
“Colorectal cancer patients are navigating significant disruptions to their care while coping with new levels of stress and anxiety, exacerbated by the fact that cancer patients are at high risk for complications from COVID-19,” the researchers wrote. “Even patients with a family history of aggressive colorectal cancer are experiencing delays in screenings. Routine colonoscopy screenings have plummeted, and worse, active treatment has been interrupted. Patients report that they are uncertain when their care will resume.”
Read the full findings here.