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    Research Letter
    Oncology
    August 4, 2020

    Changes in the Number of US Patients With Newly Identified Cancer Before and During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Quest Diagnostics, Secaucus, New Jersey
    JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(8):e2017267. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.17267

    In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends, “to conserve health system resources and reduce patient contact with health care facilities,… that cancer screening procedures that require clinic/center visits, such as screening mammograms and colonoscopy, be postponed for the time being.”1 A Washington Post headline reported, “Patients with heart attacks, strokes, and even appendicitis vanish from hospitals.”2 A study from 9 high-volume US cardiac catheterization laboratories3 found a 38% decrease in patients treated for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, considered a life-threatening condition. In this study, we analyzed weekly changes in the number of patients with newly identified cancer before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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