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Christine Almocera
Director, Marketing


Association of Community Cancer Centers Statement on Rise of Cancer Mortality and Advanced Cancer Rates in 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:

  • Use of mobile medical clinics to deliver cancer screenings
  • Development and dissemination of safety protocols directly to patients—and through social media—to show how hospitals and clinics are keeping patients safe
  • Outreach and education to local media and community organizations about new measures to ensure safe screenings and the importance of not putting off regular appointments, and to ask for their help to disseminate this information and encourage patients to resume screenings
  • Proactive outreach to patients to remind of their need for screenings, and engage in personal conversations to allay fears, rather than waiting for patients to schedule or re-schedule their appointments.

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.

About the Association of Cancer Care Centers

The Association of Cancer Care Centers (ACCC) is the leading education and advocacy organization for the cancer care community. Founded in 1974, ACCC is a powerful network of 30,000 multidisciplinary practitioners from 1,700 hospitals and practices nationwide. As advances in cancer screening and diagnosis, treatment options, and care delivery models continue to evolve - so has ACCC - adapting its resources to meet the changing needs of the entire oncology care team. For more information, visit Follow us on social media; read our blog, ACCCBuzz; tune in to our CANCER BUZZ podcast; and view our CANCER BUZZ TV channel.