The colonoscopy surge is coming, and it may cause clinicians to rethink patient prioritization, strain endoscopy capacity, and lead to more late-stage colorectal cancer diagnosis, Medscape reports.
What you should know:
1. A 2019 study, published in PLOS ONE, noted that a delay of more than 150 days led to reduced survival rates during all CRC stages.
2. Cancer patients have weaker immune systems and are more likely to develop infections. Gastroenterologists have to be careful about any potential COVID-19 exposure.
3. To address the coming surge, gastroenterologists must employ prioritization strategies and increase patient capacity. One method prioritizes patients by need and sorts them into four categories, so gastroenterologists can address the most dire patients first.
4. Gastroenterologists should use telehealth whenever appropriate to conduct pre- and post-colonoscopy care.