Cancer Screening


Anchor lead: A lot of people have put off routine cancer screening during the pandemic, and that may lead to more precise use of screening tools, Elizabeth Tracey reports

PSA testing, screening colonoscopy, and other cancer screenings have often fallen by the wayside during the COVID-19 pandemic. The next several months will reveal to what degree that impacts cancer diagnoses. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Nelson: If you look at the screening tools we have all of them pretty much cry out for evolution toward ever more precision screening. More and more the issue is if you use the screening tool what is the next step, can you say that this cancer is one that needs to be treated aggressively and that this other cancer perhaps is one that doesn’t need to be treated aggressively and you can watch with confidence. That kind of approach has you use all the knowledge you’ve generated to say who do we need to go after, who can we leave alone in a vigilant way? And then respond when you need to.  :33

Nelson says more precise use of screening and subsequent management has been intensely studied for some time, and is bearing fruit for people diagnosed with cancer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.