Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, on Declines in Cancer & Precancer Diagnoses During COVID-19 Pandemic


The urologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center spoke about the impact of a decline in cancer screening tests being performed during the first wave of the pandemic.

Findings from investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center published in JAMA Oncology suggested a significant decline in cancer and precancer diagnoses within the health care system during the first peak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic due to a drop in the number of cancer screening tests being performed.1

Though the current study focused on a single, large health care system in one part of the country, emerging data suggest these findings have relevance for other regions as well.

"This investigation is especially timely given that we are currently dealing with a second, and potentially worse wave of the pandemic," co-senior author Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, a urologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, said in a press release.2 "We have learned to leverage a redesigned patient flow, increased use of telehealth, and made other accommodations to allow our patients to continue receiving standard-of-care cancer screening and diagnosis in the safest possible environment."

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Trinh discussed the study further and how he believes the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact cancer care.

This segment comes from the CancerNetwork® portion of the MJH Life Sciences™ Medical World News®, airing daily on all MJH Life Sciences™ channels.


1. Bakouny Z, Paciotti M, Schmidt AL, et al. Cancer screening tests and cancer diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Oncol. Published online January 14, 2021. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.7600

2. Study shows sharp decline in cancer screenings and diagnoses during the first COVID-19 surge. News release. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Published January 14, 2021. Accessed February 1, 2021. https://www.dana-farber.org/newsroom/news-releases/2021/study-shows-sharp-decline-in-cancer-screenings-and-diagnoses-during-the-first-covid-19-surge/

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