Wednesday, 27 May 2020 (Sydney): Ahead of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in June, Australians are being urged that despite uncertainties due to COVID-19, early detection of the disease cannot and should not stop, even during a pandemic.
The sharp decline in GP visits for people seeking treatment in the wake of the pandemic could result in bowel cancers being undiagnosed, or prolong the time to diagnosis, leading to poorer long-term outcomes.
The anticipated colonoscopy backlog due to the cancellation of all but Category 1 urgent procedures on March 25 is expected to further compound public hospital wait times, which already exceeded medically recommended waits of 30 days pre-pandemic.[i]
Colorectal surgeon and Bowel Cancer Australia Director, A/Prof Graham Newstead AM said: “As colonoscopy becomes more readily available due to the reinstatement of elective surgeries, it is imperative people with bowel cancer symptoms or a positive test result contact their GP