Diagnoses for early-stage colorectal cancer fell by a third while the number of patients identified with stage III rose by 68% due to people avoiding screenings during the pandemic 

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  • While overall diagnoses of colorectal cancer fell during the pandemic, the cases that were found were more severe, a new study found.
  • Cancer diagnoses dropped by 13%, with an almost 33% drop in early-stage diagnoses
  • Diagnosis of stage III colorectal cancer, in the most severe cases, increased by about 68 percent
  • Many avoided medical treatment and routine check-ups during the pandemic, leading to ancillary, unnecessary, covid deaths

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Late-stage colorectal cancer diagnoses increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but cases increased in severity, a new study suggests.

Researchers from Yokohama City University School of Medicine in Japan examined cancer diagnosis rates in the country during the COVID pandemic compared to before the virus arrived.


They found an overall decrease in diagnoses of several cancers, including colorectal, but found more severe cases.

Many cases were missed due to people skipping screening for fear of going to the doctor during the pandemic.

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While diagnoses of stage 0 colorectal cancer declined by a third, the number of patients diagnosed with stage III cancer increased by 68 percent.

Overall diagnoses of colorectal cancer, and early stages of cancer, fell during the epidemic, although cases of more severe stages of cancer had risen sharply.

For the study, published Tuesday in JAMA Network Open, the team collected data for different types of cancer diagnoses across the country, and found monthly averages for diagnoses.

The researchers found that, before the pandemic began in early 2020, 41.61 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer each month, compared to only 36 per month during the pandemic.

The overall rate of colorectal cancer has dropped by 13.4 percent during the pandemic.

The data was also broken down by the stage of the cancer when a person was diagnosed.

Both Stage 0 and Stage I cancer diagnoses fell, each dropping by about 33 percent.

The number of stage 0 cancer diagnoses fell from 10.58 per month to 7.1, and stage 1 diagnoses fell from 10.16 to 6.7 per month.

Diagnoses of stage II cancer also fell by about a third, from 7.42 at one month to 4.8 per month.

Despite the decline in early stages, stage III colorectal cancer, the most serious diagnosis, rose 68 percent from 7.18 per month to 12.1.

This trend is likely due to the pandemic, which has caused many people to avoid seeking medical treatment in situations where they would have done so before, a worrying trend found by medical professionals last year.

In particular, there is a possibility that Phase II may progress to Phase III due to delays in diagnosis related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers wrote.

Skipping treatment and not getting regular medical checkups can have potentially fatal consequences, as people are now starting cancer treatment at a point where it may be too late.

Several studies, including two systematic reviews, have evaluated the interval from diagnosis to surgery and then to death, the researchers wrote.

‘In patients with colon cancer, when the time from diagnosis to surgery exceeds 30 to 40 days, overall survival is reduced, and in patients with rectal cancer overall survival is reduced when compared with neoadjuvant therapy. The time from end to surgery tends to be over seven to eight weeks.

‘Six other systematic reviews have also indicated that overall survival is reduced when the time to surgery exceeds 12 weeks.

‘Thus, six to 12 weeks may be a sufficient lag for colorectal cancer progression, which would support our findings, as many Japanese patients delay their colonoscopy by more than six to 12 weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. would have happened.

Health officials believe that the number of people who have died from the epidemic due to lack of necessary medical care has also died from Kovid.

Colorectal cancer affects the colon and rectum and is diagnosed approximately 150,000 times per year in the United States.

One in every 20 men and one in every 25 women in the US will eventually develop cancer, but early detection makes treatment easier and increases survival rates.

Being overweight, smoking and limited physical activity in old age can increase a person’s chances of developing the disease.


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