In our exclusive interview, Dr. Raez discusses the reasons for the declines in routine screening and referrals due to the coronavirus disease 2019, anticipated consequences, and some of the ways in which the health care community can combat these newfound challenges.
Welcome to Onclive On Air™! I’m your host today, Jessica Hergert.
Onclive On Air™ is a podcast from OncLive®, which provides oncology professionals with the resources and information they need to provide the best patient care. In both digital and print formats, OncLive covers every angle of oncology practice, from new technology to treatment advances to important regulatory decisions.
In today’s episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with Luis E. Raez, MD, medical director of Memorial Cancer Institute, and chief of Hematology/Oncology at Memorial Healthcare System, to discuss the effects the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had on cancer care.
COVID-19–related disruptions to primary and specialty care have translated to deferrals in routine screening and referrals. Specifically, a significant decline in cancer screenings, biopsies, surgeries, office visits, and therapies was observed among senior patients with cancer from March to July 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published in JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics.
In April 2020, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, screening rates for breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancer were 85%, 75%, 74%, and 56% lower than the baseline rates of the previous year, respectively.
In our exclusive interview, Raez discussed the reasons for these declines in routine screening and referrals, anticipated consequences, and some of the ways in which the health care community can combat these newfound challenges.