Melbourne colorectal collaboration: a multicentre review of the impact of COVID-19 on colorectal cancer in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Colorectal Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: As coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to rise, healthcare workers have been working overtime to ensure that all patients receive care in a timely manner. Our study aims to identify the impact and outcomes of COVID-19 on colorectal cancers presentations across the five major colorectal units in Melbourne, Australia. Methods: This is a retrospective study from a prospectively collected database from the binational colorectal cancer audit (BCCA) registry, as well as inpatient records. All patients with colorectal cancer between Pre-COVID-19 period (1 July 2018–2030 June 2019) and COVID-19 period (1 July 2020–2030 June 2021) were compared. Benign pathology and other cancer types were excluded. Results: A total of 1609 patients were included in the study (700 Pre-COVID-19 period, 906 COVID-19 period). During COVID-19 period, there was a higher proportion of emergency surgery (28.1% vs. 19.8%; P < 0.001), a higher nodal (P = 0.024) and metastatic stage (P = 0.018) at presentation, but no increase in the rate of return to operating theatres (P = 0.240), inpatient death (P = 0.019) or 30-day readmission (P = 0.000). There was also no difference in the post-operative surgical complications (P = 0.118). Utility of neoadjuvant therapy did not increase during the pandemic (P = 0.613). Conclusion: The heightened measures in the healthcare system ensured CRC patients still received their surgery in a timely fashion. With the current rise in the new strain of COVID-19 (Omicron), we have to continue to come up with new strategies to provide timely access to CRC care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1110-1116
Number of pages7
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • COVID-19
  • colorectal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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