The Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Diagnosis and Outcomes in British Columbia (BC)

Diagnosing cancer early is critical to achieve positive patient outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on cancer diagnosis in BC, suspending screening programs and drastically reducing diagnostic services. The patient and population health impact of a prolonged reduction in these services is unknown. Further, as COVID-19 restrictions ease, the expected demand for these services will exceed the system’s capacity, significantly increasing wait times. It is now critical for BC Cancer to establish priorities for the re-introduction of services to reduce negative impacts of delays. Our research will quantify the impacts of reductions in cancer diagnostic services on patient outcomes and develop effective strategies for re-introduction.