IN THE NEWS: Missed cancer screening during Coronavirus pandemic raises alarm, an interview with Dr. Klamerus

Health Leaders Media

Justin Klamerus, M.D., MMM, president, Karmanos Cancer Hospital and Network explains how decreased rates of cancer screening during the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a significant increase in cancer mortality.

In the Karmanos network, screenings for all cancers were down 17.2% in the fiscal year ending October 2020 compared to the 2019 fiscal year. Mammograms were down 16.8% and colonoscopies were down 20.4%. Roughly 107,000 patients were screened for these cancers at Karmanos in 2019, versus 89,000 in 2020.

The early signs of the impact of decreased screening are troubling, Klamerus says. "Anecdotally, what we are seeing is that patients are presenting with more advanced stages of disease. They are avoiding symptoms that would normally lead to having tests done or seeing a doctor. Patients are avoiding that care because of the concerns over COVID-19."

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