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New Cancer Diagnoses in U.S. Halved due to COVID-19

Oct, 2020

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The researchers examined six common types of cancer, such as esophageal, pancreatic, lung, gastric, colorectal, and breast, between January 2018 and April 2020.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic) has changed the world in many ways. The world is on a halt, as many governments across the world issued stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the deadly virus. According to the new research, new diagnoses of cancer in the United States fell by around 50% in March 2020 and April 2020. The research was published in the JAMA Network Open journal. Doctors or health experts have warned about the diagnosis of these delayed cancers that cancer deaths may increase in the coming years, as the disease will be diagnosed in later stages.

The research was conducted by the research team from Quest Diagnostics, the United States-based clinical laboratory. During this research, the researchers counted the weekly amounts of physician-given tests for six common types of cancer, such as esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, lung, colorectal, and breast, between January 2018 and April 2020. The team detected around 4,310 new cancer cases (on average) each week Up to March 1, 2020. The researchers then observed around 50% drop (2,310) in new cancer cases each week during the pandemic period (in March and April 2020).

Moreover, the team detected the most notable decrease in breast cancer diagnoses, falling to around 52% during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data is only from one company, and there are only six common cancer types, however, the findings reflect several other recent studies from different countries across the world. According to Dutch research, cancer incidence has dropped by 40% during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in The Netherlands. Moreover, the United Kingdom reported a 75% drop in cancer incidence over the last few months and Australia reported a 30% drop in cancer incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

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