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

February 18, 2022
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

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.