Pandemic Delays Cancer Screenings: Early Detection of Esophageal Cancer Will Save Lives

More evidence has emerged that shows the pandemic has delayed cancer diagnoses.

A 2021 study, conducted by Dr. Brajesh K. Lal, a vascular surgeon and researcher at the VA Maryland Health Care System’s Baltimore VA Medical Center, and professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and his team found that the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with reductions in cancer screening and diagnostic procedures that likely resulted in a reduction in new cancer diagnoses.

“Researchers analyzed data from more than 9 million patients at over 1,200 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. Overall, new cancer diagnoses dropped between 13% and 23% in 2020, depending on the cancer type, the findings showed.”

While not specifically mentioned in the article, esophageal cancer lacks routine and/or standard screenings and is often detected late, as warning symptoms usually appear once the cancer has spread.
As one of the deadliest and fastest growing cancers in the Western world, esophageal cancer has increased over 700% in the past four decades. Esophageal cancer also lacks awareness of risk factors and warning signs.

Many are unaware that chronic reflux could increase the risk of esophageal cancer. Coupled with the fact that overall cancer diagnoses dropped during the pandemic, we fear that more people who could have had their cancer caught earlier will now face a late-stage diagnosis.

To learn more about risk factors, warning signs and screening methods visit the links below.

Risk Factors Associated with Esophageal Cancer

Signs and Symptoms


If you have any risk factors or warning signs, please speak to your doctor immediately about screening for possible damage.

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is working to raise awareness, encourage early detection and to fund research of esophageal cancer…in hopes of a CURE!™

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation awarded two research grants! The first in 2015 and the second in 2018.  The research awarded in 2018, a breath test for esophageal cancer, is currently underway.  Both grants were given in honor of all the men and women affected by esophageal cancer. While these are tremendous accomplishments, esophageal cancer research is critically underfunded, and medical researchers continuously inquire about funding.   

Now more than ever, your support is critically needed to enable this charity to fulfill our mission.

To donate, please click here.

To visit and like us on Facebook, please click here.

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation


VA Maryland Health Care System Researchers Conduct National Study Examining the Impact of the Pandemic on New Cancers, VA Maryland Health Care System, Dec 6, 2021

More Evidence That Pandemic Delayed Cancer Diagnoses ( Robert Preidt,
HealthDay Reporter, Monday, February 7, 2022

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