1-September-2022 by Brian Buntz
Cancer diagnoses and screenings dramatically dropped during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent data from tens of thousands of patients suggest that the U.S. is likely to see at least two years of increased cancer diagnosis rates and poorer outcomes, according to Jeff Elton, CEO of ConcertAI.
EHR data reflect a pronounced drop in pan tumor diagnoses and multiple myeloma (MM) diagnoses.
Against that backdrop, Elton recommends that the oncology field adopt a data-driven approach to optimize patient care in the wake of the pandemic.
On one level, the dip in diagnostic rates in the early days of the pandemic was not surprising, given how common lockdowns were in early 2021. At that time, it seemed likely that the situation would play a role in driving later-stage oncology diagnosis. The problem is especially evident in the hematological malignancy population.
“The early phase of the pandemic — before vaccination — really hit people with hematological malignancies exceptionally hard,” Elton said.