(Reuters Health) – Adults diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer are experiencing longer wait times before receiving cancer treatment in Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers across the U.S., according to a recent report.

The growing treatment delays may not be specific to VA centers alone, and whether the delays are tied to worse outcomes, as previous studies have found for breast and other cancers, is unknown, researchers said.

“Our study identified a trend in increasing wait times at VA hospitals that will most certainly continue in the next decade,” lead study author Dr. Ryan P. Merkow told Reuters Health, adding that “large, academic institutions also are dealing with similar issues.”

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