Guideline aims to address COVID-19-delayed CRC screening

About 18,800 colorectal cancer diagnoses were missed or delayed from early March and early June because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable claims in a recently published guideline

Researchers drafted guidance to offer clinicians advice on how to tackle the backlog of cases. Four highlights from the resource:

1. The pandemic resulted in a 90 percent drop in colonoscopies and biopsies compared to screening numbers from the same period in 2019. 

2. If gastroenterologists can perform colonoscopies, clinicians should prioritize patients by need. 

3. Early detection should be prioritized for patients who are more than 45 years old and at average risk for developing CRC. 

4. Gastroenterologists should prescribe at-home stool-based screening tests to overcome delays and barriers associated with colonoscopy screening. 

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