While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the US, many healthcare experts are already warning of the downstream impact of COVID on other disease areas.
Specifically, the impact on cancer is alarming, with the US overall seeing a notable decline in the number of cancer diagnoses. Within less than 2 months following the start of the pandemic, average weekly new cancer diagnoses dropped by about 46% across six major types of cancers (breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric and esophageal combined).
While a decrease in the number of cancer diagnoses may sound positive, this decline doesn't mean fewer people are getting cancer. Rather, it means more people are living with undiagnosed cancer and facing significant delays in treatment. e number of cancer deaths are predicted over the next five years, due to missed screenings and reductions in oncology essential diagnostic services caused by the pandemic.
Arizona has been particularly hard hit, with ovarian cancer diagnoses having declined by 38%, prostate cancer diagnoses having declined by 47% and breast cancer diagnoses having declined by 32% as of July 2020.