A consortium of 17 cancer centers in the United States, including UVA Cancer Center, have come together to better understand the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in delaying cancer detection, care and prevention.
The cancer centers are working together with the National Cancer Institute on evaluating the impact of the pandemic on the continuum of cancer care from prevention to survivorship. This work will further examine whether differences in demographics impact cancer prevention and control, cancer management and survivorship during the pandemic.
The effort is in direct response to sobering forecasts from the NCI about cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials have warned that the pandemic may have prevented some patients from undergoing much needed screenings and hindered access to procedures that could result in late-stage diagnosis and cancer death. Furthermore, delaying cancer screenings, clinical trials and testing during the pandemic could roll back significant gains made in recent years in reducing cancer deaths.
“We know that the pandemic has changed our preventive behaviors, such as diet and exercise. We know there have been delays in cancer screening. This survey will give us a more detailed understanding of the extent of the problem so that the UVA Cancer Center’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement can provide programs and support to address the needs of our community,” says Wendy Cohn, PhD, associate director for community outreach and engagement at UVA Cancer Center. “Ultimately, we hope to develop strategies to lessen the impact of this pandemic on cancer prevention, detection and care.”
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