Researchers are investigating the effect of delayed cancer screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Associated Press reports.
Cancer screenings like colonoscopies, mammograms, lung scans, Pap tests, and more were put off as healthcare workers grappled with the onslaught of the pandemic. Now, as people reschedule their screenings, the AP writes that researchers are examining whether the delay has led to missed or more advanced diagnoses.
It reports that one group from the University of Cincinnati found that once lung cancer screenings started up again that 29 percent of people screened has suspicious findings, as compared to 8 percent in other years. Other researchers in the Netherlands, though, found no difference in breast cancer stages uncovered through mammograms, it says, while researchers in Boston found that just after screening resumed, the number of cancers uncovered was higher than usual, but then fell to typical levels a few months later.
The AP adds that at-home testing has also been adopted due to the pandemic.