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1.
Prev Med ; 151: 106642, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294330

ABSTRACT

Screening can decrease the burden of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. The COVID-19 pandemic led many countries to suspend cancer screening services as part of their response to the pandemic. The International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN) carried out an online survey to assess the effects of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer screening. A 33-item survey was distributed to 834 email addresses to gather information about settings and assess decision-making processes that led to cancer screening suspension. Information about communication, impact on resources, and patient follow-up was collected. Quantitative data was analyzed as frequencies overall and by setting, while a comment section under each survey item captured nuanced details. Responses were recategorized into 66 settings, representing 35 countries. Most settings suspended cancer screening services (n = 60, 90.9%) in March 2020 (n = 45, 68.2%), guided by a government decision (n = 51, 77.3%). Few settings made the decision whether to suspend services based on a preparedness plan (n = 17, 25.8%). In most settings, professionals were reassigned (n = 41, 62.1%) and infrastructure repurposed (n = 35, 53.0%). The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on cancer screening worldwide, including the suspension of services in almost all settings. Most settings were unprepared to deal with the scale of the pandemic but demonstrated flexibility in the response. These results contribute to inform, through experiences and lessons learned, the next steps for the global cancer screening community to further evaluate the impact of COVID-19 and prepare for future disruptions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
Prev Med ; 151: 106602, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294327

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Dutch national breast screening program to a halt in week 12, 2020. In week 26, the breast program was resumed at 40% capacity, which increased to 60% in week 34. We examined the impact of the suspension and restart of the screening program on the incidence of screen-detected and non-screen-detected breast cancer. We selected women aged 50-74, diagnosed during weeks 2-35 of 2018 (n = 7250), 2019 (n = 7302), or 2020 (n = 5306), from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Weeks 2-35 were divided in seven periods, based on events occurring at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Incidence of screen-detected and non-screen-detected tumors was calculated overall and by age group, cT-stage, and cTNM-stage for each period in 2020, and compared to the incidence in the same period of 2018/2019 (averaged). The incidence of screen-detected tumors decreased during weeks 12-13, reached almost zero during weeks 14-25, and increased during weeks 26-35. Incidence of non-screen-detected tumors decreased to a lesser extent during weeks 12-16. The decrease in incidence was seen in all age groups and mainly occurred for cTis, cT1, DCIS, and stage I tumors. Due to the suspension of the breast cancer screening program, and the restart at reduced capacity, the incidence of screen-detected breast tumors decreased by 67% during weeks 9-35 2020, which equates to about 2000 potentially delayed breast cancer diagnoses. Up to August 2020 there was no indication of a shift towards higher stage breast cancers after restart of the screening.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Incidence , Mammography , Mass Screening , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Prev Med Rep ; 23: 101399, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230713

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To review the scientific literature seeking lessons for the COVID-19 era that could be learned from previous health services interruptions that affected the delivery of cancer screening services. METHODS: A systematic search was conducted up to April 17, 2020, with no restrictions on language or dates and resulted in 385 articles. Two researchers independently assessed the list and discussed any disagreements. Once a consensus was achieved for each paper, those selected were included in the review. RESULTS: Eleven articles were included. Three studies were based in Japan, two in the United States, one in South Korea, one in Denmark, and the remaining four offered a global perspective on interruptions in health services due to natural or human-caused disasters. No articles covered an interruption due to a pandemic. The main themes identified in the reviewed studies were coordination, communication, resource availability and patient follow-up. CONCLUSION: Lessons learned applied to the context of COVID-19 are that coordination involving partners across the health sector is essential to optimize resources and resume services, making them more resilient while preparing for future interruptions. Communication with the general population about how COVID-19 has affected cancer screening, measures taken to mitigate it and safely re-establish screening services is recommended. Use of mobile health systems to reach patients who are not accessing services and the application of resource-stratified guidelines are important considerations. More research is needed to explore best strategies for suspending, resuming and sustaining cancer screening programs, and preparedness for future disruptions, adapted to diverse health care systems.

4.
J Hematol Oncol ; 14(1): 64, 2021 04 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190085

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Dutch national screening program to a halt and increased the burden on health care services, necessitating the introduction of specific breast cancer treatment recommendations from week 12 of 2020. We aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the diagnosis, stage and initial treatment of breast cancer. METHODS: Women included in the Netherlands Cancer Registry and diagnosed during four periods in weeks 2-17 of 2020 were compared with reference data from 2018/2019 (averaged). Weekly incidence was calculated by age group and tumor stage. The number of women receiving initial treatment within 3 months of diagnosis was calculated by period, initial treatment, age, and stage. Initial treatment, stratified by tumor behavior (ductal carcinoma in situ [DCIS] or invasive), was analyzed by logistic regression and adjusted for age, socioeconomic status, stage, subtype, and region. Factors influencing time to treatment were analyzed by Cox regression. RESULTS: Incidence declined across all age groups and tumor stages (except stage IV) from 2018/2019 to 2020, particularly for DCIS and stage I disease (p < 0.05). DCIS was less likely to be treated within 3 months (odds ratio [OR]wks2-8: 2.04, ORwks9-11: 2.18). Invasive tumors were less likely to be treated initially by mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (ORwks12-13: 0.52) or by breast conserving surgery (ORwks14-17: 0.75). Chemotherapy was less likely for tumors diagnosed in the beginning of the study period (ORwks9-11: 0.59, ORwks12-13: 0.66), but more likely for those diagnosed at the end (ORwks14-17: 1.31). Primary hormonal treatment was more common (ORwks2-8: 1.23, ORwks9-11: 1.92, ORwks12-13: 3.01). Only women diagnosed in weeks 2-8 of 2020 experienced treatment delays. CONCLUSION: The incidence of breast cancer fell in early 2020, and treatment approaches adapted rapidly. Clarification is needed on how this has affected stage migration and outcomes.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/therapy , Adult , Aged , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Breast Neoplasms/pathology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Management , Female , Humans , Incidence , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Neoplasm Staging , Netherlands/epidemiology
5.
J Hematol Oncol ; 13(1): 147, 2020 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-937126

ABSTRACT

Oncological care was largely derailed due to the reprioritisation of health care services to handle the initial surge of COVID-19 patients adequately. Cancer screening programmes were no exception in this reprioritisation. They were temporarily halted in the Netherlands (1) to alleviate the pressure on health care services overwhelmed by the upsurge of COVID-19 patients, (2) to reallocate staff and personal protective equipment to support critical COVID-19 care, and (3) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Utilising data from the Netherlands Cancer Registry on provisional cancer diagnoses between 6 January 2020 and 4 October 2020, we assessed the impact of the temporary halt of national population screening programmes on the diagnosis of breast and colorectal cancer in the Netherlands. A dynamic harmonic regression model with ARIMA error components was applied to assess the observed versus expected number of cancer diagnoses per calendar week. Fewer diagnoses of breast and colorectal cancer were objectified amid the early stages of the initial COVID-19 outbreak in the Netherlands. This effect was most pronounced among the age groups eligible for cancer screening programmes, especially in breast cancer (age group 50-74 years). Encouragingly enough, the observed number of diagnoses ultimately reached and virtually remained at the level of the expected values. This finding, which emerged earlier in age groups not invited for cancer screening programmes, comes on account of the decreased demand for critical COVID-19 care since early April 2020, which, in turn, paved the way forward to resume screening programmes and a broad range of non-critical health care services, albeit with limited operating and workforce capacity. Collectively, transient changes in health-seeking behaviour, referral practices, and cancer screening programmes amid the early stages of the initial COVID-19 epidemic in the Netherlands conjointly acted as an accelerant for fewer breast and colorectal cancer diagnoses in age groups eligible for cancer screening programmes. Forthcoming research is warranted to assess whether the decreased diagnostic scrutiny of cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in stage migration and altered clinical management, as well as poorer outcomes.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pandemics
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