Data show a sharp trend of skipping preventive cancer screenings during the covid-19 pandemic, which could lead to worse outcomes for those eventually diagnosed with cancer, including more deaths, reports the Wall Street Journal

A decline in mammograms and other screening procedures after the coronavirus pandemic struck is leading to missed and delayed cancer diagnoses, according to data from insurance claims, lab orders, Medicare billings and oncology-practice records, an emerging pattern that is alarming oncologists.

Hundreds of thousands of cancer screenings were deferred after worries about Covid-19 shut down much of the U.S. health-care system starting this spring. Because many cancers can advance rapidly, months without detection could mean fewer treatment options and worse outcomes, including more deaths.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required to read the whole article). 

Featured image: Imaging of metastatic cancer cells spreading on the surrounding tissue. Image © Nicola Ferrari Dreamstime ( ID 45971826).