September 5, 2021 | The Atlantic

Not Even a Pandemic Could Settle One of Medicine’s Greatest Controversies

From The Atlantic:

Scientists could track cancer screening’s “pandemic generation” for the rest of their life and see what happens.

The public is going to be inundated with analyses like these, says Aaron Schwartz, a physician and health-policy researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, but “it gets messy very fast.” The pandemic disrupted so much of our daily lives at once that we may not be able to tease out the effect of screening delays. What if a patient who skipped his colonoscopy also lost his health insurance and started eating more junk food? We couldn’t say for sure which factor was to blame for a bad outcome. Because of these simultaneous changes, “it’s a very tall order to measure the effectiveness of cancer screening,” Schwartz told me.

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