HealthDay News — A transition to single-encounter telemedicine (SET) lung cancer screening (LCS) during the COVID-19 pandemic yielded similar results to single-visit LCS before the pandemic, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons, held virtually from Oct. 23 to 27.

Noting that a safety-net institution transitioned from a single-visit LCS protocol before COVID-19 to SET LCS, Jessica S. Magarinos, M.D., from Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed prospectively collected data from September 2014 to February 2021 to measure differences in outcomes of LCS.

The researchers compared data for 673 patients who received single-visit LCS pre-COVID-19 and 440 patients who received SET-LCS during the pandemic. Overall, there was a 75 percent reduction in the number of patients who received lung cancer screenings during the pandemic. The researchers found that the distribution of patients’ race was not significantly different before and after COVID-19; most of the screened patients were African American. Neither the distribution of Lung-RADs results nor the frequency of procedures for lung cancer diagnoses differed significantly between the groups.

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“Our study shows that telemedicine screenings were able to reach the African American population in a safety net hospital,” Magarinos said in a statement.

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