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
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