NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A new study is shedding light on just how deadly the COVID-19 omicron variant has proven to be, even more than the delta variant.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston studied the data, and what was surprising is that omicron was first thought to be a milder COVID-19 variant. Instead, it has proven to be more deadly, even in that highly vaccinated state.

Doctors compared the number of deaths in the 8-month delta wave 2,294, to the number of deaths in the 3-month omicron variant wave of 1,975. There were more in the omicron wave, and across all age groups.

“What that underscores is the fact that omicron was just so incredibly infectious, that case numbers went through the roof. So, even if death was less likely on a per case basis, when you multiply that, in as many cases as they had, you saw a really significant death rate. And that’s something we all need to be aware of,” says Yale Medicine physician F. Perry Wilson.

Wilson stresses that is why being fully boosted is so important, with the prevalence of omicron and now re-infections becoming more common.

The new director of the Yale Cancer Center talks about a disturbing trend. More advanced cancers are being detected because so many people put off screenings during the pandemic.

“In 2020, women weren’t getting mammograms, men and women weren’t getting colonoscopies,” explains Dr. Eric Winer.

He says aside from missing key screenings for cancer, people also are neglecting other health aspects.

“There are many people who when they found an initial problem or developed a symptom just tended to delay coming in,” Winer said.

That is leading to doctors seeing more advanced cancers than before the pandemic. Advanced cancers do not have the potentially promising outcomes that early diagnosis provides.

“The big message is it’s time to get back to normal for screenings,” says Winer.

He points out that it is safe to come back for medical screenings and treatments.

“The hospital environment is the one environment where everyone is masked and everyone is concerned about covid transmission,” says Winer.

He also points out that with more vaccinations and treatments there are fewer people in the hospital, and in the ERs with COVID-19.

Winer says that cancer screening rates have begun to come up again slowly, but not to pre-pandemic levels.

The key to screening is especially important with colonoscopies.

“This is a way of not only screening but treating precancerous legions before they become cancer,” Winer says.