Bruce Sands, MD: The Impact of COVID-19 on Gastro Care

There is concerns over missed early screenings for gastrointestinal cancers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a number of ripple effects on medicine.

Appointments were cancelled, treatments were missed, and early screenings may have been ignored by patients afraid to enter a medical facility because of the spread of the virus.

And now nearly 2 years later, there is concerns over the severity of some diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

In an interview with HCPLive®, Bruce E. Sands, MD, Chief of the Dr. Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital and the Dr. Burrill B. Crohn Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology), explained some of the concerns over what has occurred since the start of the pandemic and how patients are suffering from it.

“There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a delay in care for all sorts of conditions,” Sands said. “And certainly in GI we see this in terms of delayed diagnoses of cancers.”

Sands said outside of cancer, there were several factors that resulted in a decrease in care for patients with IBD, including delaying care, stopping care, and stopping medications because they were fearful of immunosuppressive treatments.

And the end result is more severity of disease for many patients.