Colonoscopies Are Essential in the Prevention, Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer, the Second Leading Cause of Cancer Death

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — AMSURG, a division of Envision Healthcare and a national leader in providing outpatient endoscopic procedures, released new data today on the impact COVID-19 has had on colonoscopies, a vital medical screening test used to detect, prevent and treat colon cancer.

According to AMSURG’s internal data, more than 195,000 patients have missed colonoscopies since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. AMSURG estimates that its clinicians would have diagnosed more than 850 people with colorectal cancer in those missed cases. Additionally, AMSURG’s analysis found that if this trend continues, it expects to screen almost 32,000 fewer patients for the remainder of 2020 — potentially another 140 undiagnosed cases. The American Cancer Society has estimated there will be approximately 148,000 new cases of colorectal cancer in 2020.

“Based on historical data for this time last year, we would have removed polyps from more than 82,000 patients before they turned cancerous,” said John Popp, MD, Medical Director for AMSURG. “Screening colonoscopies are crucial in detecting, treating and preventing colon cancer, which is the second most common cause of cancer death in the U.S. When diagnosed early, it is often easier to treat, and patients have an increased chance of survival.”  

In recent years, more people under the age of 50 have been diagnosed with colon cancer. A colonoscopy is the only screening test that can both detect and prevent colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the recommended age to begin screening average-risk people is 45. People at a higher risk include those with a family history of colorectal cancer or pre-malignant polyps, inflammatory bowel disease and certain lifestyle habits. Colon cancer also disproportionately impacts the Black community, which sees higher colon cancer rates and deaths than any other racial or ethnic group.

“As the national leader in the detection and prevention of colon cancer, it is very concerning to see so many patients missing their colonoscopies,” said Jeff Snodgrass, President of AMSURG. “While we all must continue taking precautions to put public health first during the COVID-19 pandemic, people should not delay essential and potentially lifesaving care. AMSURG continues to take all necessary measures to protect the health and safety of our teammates, patients and communities. We have high-quality and safety standards and rigid infection control protocols in place to protect our teams and patients. Our medical facilities remain open for essential care, such as colonoscopies.”

Through its network of ambulatory surgery centers, AMSURG partners with physicians to provide high-quality, same-day outpatient care to patients in communities across the country. AMSURG specializes in gastroenterology, orthopaedic, and ophthalmology and is the leading provider of colonoscopies in the U.S.


About Envision Healthcare Corporation
Envision Healthcare Corporation is a leading national medical group that delivers physician and advanced practice provider services, primarily in the areas of emergency and hospitalist medicine, anesthesiology, radiology/teleradiology, and neonatology to more than 1,800 clinical departments in healthcare facilities in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Post-acute care is delivered through an array of clinical professionals and integrated technologies which, when combined, contribute to efficient and effective population health management strategies. As a market leader in ambulatory surgical care, the medical group owns and operates 257 surgery centers and one surgical hospital in 34 states and the District of Columbia, with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopedics. In total, the medical group offers a differentiated suite of clinical solutions on a national scale with a local understanding of our communities, creating value for health systems, payers, providers, and patients. For additional information, visit

AMSURG acquires, develops and operates ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) in partnership with physicians throughout the United States. As of January 1, 2020, AMSURG owned and operated 257 ASCs and one surgical hospital in 34 states and the District of Columbia with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopaedics. To learn more about AMSURG, a division of Envision Healthcare Corporation, visit