FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Oct 16, 2020
Rockville, MD - Dr. Randall A. Oyer, President of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), today released the following statement regarding the rise in mortality rates of specific cancers and the rise in the occurrence of advanced, metastatic cancers in 2020.
New research presented this week at the United European Gastroenterology Week Virtual 2020 showed a significantly (11.9%) higher rate of mortality in colorectal cancer as a direct result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, GenesisCare, which provides oncology care worldwide, released data that showed an increase in patients with late-stage cancer diagnoses.
According to the study, women presenting with stage three or four cancer breast cancer increased to 18.1% from 12.1% the previous year and patients presenting with stage three or four lung cancer increased to 38% from 32.6% the previous year.
After so many years of steady decrease in both mortality and late-stage diagnosis rates, the healthcare community understood the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 might have on screenings and diagnoses. The rise in advanced metastatic rates and change in death rates we see in these data is a dire warning to all sectors of healthcare to do whatever it takes to encourage screenings and reassure patients.
The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has worked diligently with our membership as we quickly adapted to changes in the delivery of quality care to patients. We shared ideas on how cancer and medical professionals can employ creative techniques to improve cancer screening, such as:
ACCC is also addressing the financial impact of COVID-19, which can affect patients’ decisions to delay screenings or treatment, through podcasts, curated resources, and the a dedicated online community. We will continue to share effective practices and ideas and develop digital resources for our members and work together to reverse this alarming trend.