October 12, 2020

COVID-19-related delays for CRC screening causing 11.9% increase in mortality

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

New research presented October 12 at UEG [United European Gastroenterology] Week Virtual 2020 shows that delays in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening caused by COVID-19 has resulted in significantly increased mortality rates.

Researchers at the University of Bologna, Italy, developed a model to forecast the impact of delayed CRC screening on mortality. They found that:


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  • moderate (7-12 months) delays caused a 3% increase in advanced stage CRC
  • large (more than 12 months) delays caused a 7% increase in advanced stage CRC.

Based on survival rates at 5 years for Stage III and IV CRC, the researchers found a significant 11.9% increase in mortality, when comparing a 0-3 month delay to a more than 12 month delay.

Healthcare authorities need to act urgently to reorganize activities during COVID-19, without compromising the diagnosis of other high-impact diseases like CRC, the researchers say.

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