The Impact of COVID-19 on Prostate Cancer Care

Shawn Dason, MD, a urologic oncologist at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the decline of prostate cancer screening in recent years and how it has impacted care of patients with prostate cancer overall.

Shawn Dason, MD, a urologic oncologist at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the decline of prostate cancer screening in recent years.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, screening in all cancers has declined. Primary care visits that may have revealed important symptoms also declined. According to Dason, these trends have also led to declines in the diagnosis of prostate cancer, causing more patients to be diagnosed at advanced stages of disease.

As a result of the many delays in prostate cancer care and across other cancers, patients may experience adverse disease outcomes, explains Dason.

Transcript:

0:08 | In the setting of the pandemic, I think everybody naturally kind of focuses on different priorities. And some of these things that are a little bit more insidious a little bit kind of more chronic, like cancer screenings, I think, took a bit of a backseat. As you know, nobody necessarily has active symptoms or something that actively prompts them to go seek [screening]. And similarly, the healthcare system has been under more strain recently. This is firstly due to the fact that you have COVID itself, but then secondly, due to workforce shortages and other things like that. So, sometimes things like preventative health care measures can take a bit of a backseat.

0:51 | I think that, you know, the data has really been accumulated over the last couple of years that you have a significant decline in cancer screening, but also just diagnosis of cancer may be meaning that cancers are presenting at a more advanced stage. And as a result, maybe meaning that, patients are going to have more adverse outcomes from that. So, I think, across the board, on a patient-level on a provider level, and then finally, on an outcome level, we're seeing cancer screenings being delayed and potentially adverse outcomes result.