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Project Reference – 0071

Principle Investigator – Eva Morris

Plain language summary - Illness cause by the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a huge impact on the National Health Service (NHS) with research studies from the start of the pandemic showing how difficult it has been for new cases of bowel cancer to get diagnosed and treated when the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 is high.

The NHS is keen to restore cancer services as fast as it can but this is challenging when the system is already under pressure and the country is faced with new waves of COVID-19. Senior leaders in the NHS are keen to have more real-time evidence on how bowel cancer services are performing and this study aims to use new data sources to generate that information. It will look at how patterns of the main diagnostic tests (colonoscopy and colonography) and treatments (surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy) for bowel cancer have changed over the course of the pandemic. It will also look at how these changes in care are affecting patient outcomes such as whether they have to live with a stoma or how long they survive after diagnosis. In this way, the study hopes to provide evidence to make bowel cancer care better during and beyond the pandemic.