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Journal of Clinical Oncology ; 39(15 SUPPL), 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1339234


Background: COVID-19 has had profound direct and indirect effects on population health to date and long-term effects are anticipated. Vulnerabilities to the most serious consequences of infection include older age, obesity, African American race and the presence of comorbid conditions. African American cancer survivors represent a particularly high-risk group, therefore understanding the impact of the virus and our strategies to prevent its spread on this patient population is important. Methods: The Detroit Research on Cancer Survivors (ROCS) cohort is a unique effort to understand the determinants of poor outcomes in African American cancer survivors. Eligible participants were diagnosed with breast, prostate, colorectal, or lung cancer on or after 1/1/2013, or with endometrial or any other cancer before age 50 on or after 01/01/2016 and were identified through the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System cancer registry. To date, we have enrolled 4173 survivors. Full participation includes completion of a baseline survey, and collection of biospecimens, medical records and tumor tissue, if available. Participants are also followed annually for outcomes and changes in history. A supplemental survey focused on the impact of COVID-19 was offered to enrolled participants beginning in the spring of 2020. The results presented here include data from 890 survivors who also completed the ROCS COVID survey. Results: Nearly all ( > 99%) survivors reported some change in their daily activities in an effort to reduce the risk of infection. At the time of survey, just over 1/3 of participants reported being tested for the virus and among those, 12% reported positive results. More than 40% of survivors reported some disruption in their access to medical care. A substantial ( > 40%) proportion of survivors reported feeling anxious, depressed and/or isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 40% of patients reported changes in health behaviors as a direct result of the pandemic that are known to negatively affect survivorship outcomes (physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol use). Notably, 30% of survivors reported declines in physical activity and these declines were significantly associated with increased anxiety (p = 0.008), depression (p = 0.005) and poorer healthrelated quality of life (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The influence of the COVID- 19 pandemic on African American cancer survivors has been substantial, affecting both their physical and mental health and access to needed medical care. Coupled with changes in health behaviors as a direct result of the pandemic, these factors will likely affect outcomes in this high-risk patient population making further study and interventions necessary to mitigate the long-term impact of the pandemic on cancer outcomes.

Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention ; 30(4):803-804, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1241070


Purpose: Financial hardship due to cancer is more common among African American than White survivors. The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout have also disproportionately affected African Americans. The purpose of this study is to describe the financial and employment impacts of COVID-19 in a population of African American cancer survivors and to compare those impacts with those experienced after a cancer diagnosis. Methods: Results include survey data from 593 participants in the population-based Detroit Research on Cancer Survivors (ROCS) cohort who completed the ROCS enrollment survey and a supplemental questionnaire related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their financial wellbeing and employment. Most participants (96%) were not diagnosed with COVID-19 by the time they completed the supplement and reflect the societal impact of the pandemic rather than a personal COVID-19 diagnosis. Analyses compare reports of financial hardship (using assets, borrowing money, experiencing debt, decreases in income) and employment impacts (changes to work schedules, duties, hours, employment status) due to cancer and due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A similar proportion of ROCS participants reported financial hardship (41% vs. 42%) and borrowing money (5% vs. 6%) related to the COVID pandemic and their cancer diagnosis, respectively. Fewer survivors reported borrowing money (9% vs. 17%;p<0.001) or experiencing a decrease in income due to COVID than cancer (20% vs. 28%;p = 0.001);however;more reported debt associated with COVID (30% vs. 17%;p<0.001). Changes to work schedules (44% vs. 36%) and hours worked (44% vs. 28%) related to the COVID pandemic and cancer were common, and not statistically different from one another. More survivors changed their work duties due to the COVID pandemic (20%) than cancer (12%;p = 0.048). Prevalence of changes to employment status were similar for cancer (6%) and COVID (11%). Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with similar levels of overall financial hardship, and higher prevalence of debt and some work changes, than individual cancer experiences. These additional burdens on a financially vulnerable population could exacerbate existing cancer-related inequities.