Skip to main content

19-03-2021 | Oncology | News | Article

News in brief

COVID-19: Changes in cancer surgery volume reported

Author: Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews: Canadian researchers have evaluated the changes in cancer surgical volume in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The analysis included data provided by 112 of 120 eligible hospitals on 543,751 patients (61.1% women) aged an average of 56.9 years, with information on cancer-directed, hospital-based surgeries based on Canadian Institute for Health Information procedure codes.

Compared with the prepandemic period (January 7, 2018–March 14, 2020), there was a 60% decrease in the average volume of cancer-directed surgical procedures on March 15, 2020, which the investigators attribute to “measures aimed at creating capacity for COVID-19 admissions.”

And although the mean surgical volume rose by 6% in each subsequent week, the numbers at the end of the study period on June 27, 2020 remained lower than in the prepandemic period, resulting in 35,671 fewer completed surgeries during the pandemic.

“This study is limited by the lack of timely access to the provincial cancer registry data, which decreased cancer specificity (due to data lag),” say Antoine Eskander (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario) and collaborators in JAMA Network Open

“However, these cancer-directed procedures, whether specifically performed for cancer or not, provide insight to cancer surgical services.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

19 March 2021: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

JAMA Netw Open 2021; 4: e211104

Related topics

See the research in context now

with trial summaries, expert opinion and congress coverage