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JAMA Netw Open ; 5(4): e228855, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1801991


Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cancer systems worldwide. Quantifying the changes is critical to informing the delivery of care while the pandemic continues, as well as for system recovery and future pandemic planning. Objective: To quantify change in the delivery of cancer services across the continuum of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based cohort study assessed cancer screening, imaging, diagnostic, treatment, and psychosocial oncological care services delivered in pediatric and adult populations in Ontario, Canada (population 14.7 million), from April 1, 2019, to March 1, 2021. Data were analyzed from May 1 to July 31, 2021. Exposures: COVID-19 pandemic. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cancer service volumes from the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, defined as April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, were compared with volumes during a prepandemic period of April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. Results: During the first year of the pandemic, there were a total of 4 476 693 cancer care services, compared with 5 644 105 services in the year prior, a difference of 20.7% fewer services of cancer care, representing a potential backlog of 1 167 412 cancer services. While there were less pronounced changes in systemic treatments, emergency and urgent imaging examinations (eg, 1.9% more parenteral systemic treatments) and surgical procedures (eg, 65% more urgent surgical procedures), major reductions were observed for most services beginning in March 2020. Compared with the year prior, during the first pandemic year, cancer screenings were reduced by 42.4% (-1 016 181 screening tests), cancer treatment surgical procedures by 14.1% (-8020 procedures), and radiation treatment visits by 21.0% (-141 629 visits). Biopsies to confirm cancer decreased by up to 41.2% and surgical cancer resections by up to 27.8% during the first pandemic wave. New consultation volumes also decreased, such as for systemic treatment (-8.2%) and radiation treatment (-9.3%). The use of virtual cancer care increased for systemic treatment and radiation treatment and psychosocial oncological care visits, increasing from 0% to 20% of total new or follow-up visits prior to the pandemic up to 78% of total visits in the first pandemic year. Conclusions and Relevance: In this population-based cohort study in Ontario, Canada, large reductions in cancer service volumes were observed. While most services recovered to prepandemic levels at the end of the first pandemic year, a substantial care deficit likely accrued. The anticipated downstream morbidity and mortality associated with this deficit underscore the urgent need to address the backlog and recover cancer care and warrant further study.

COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Neoplasms , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Cohort Studies , Humans , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics
Gynecologic Oncology ; 162:S24-S24, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1366717


Practice guidelines advocating for the regionalization of endometrial cancer surgery to gynecologic oncologists practicing in designated gynecologic oncology centres were released by Cancer Care Ontario in June 2013. We sought to determine the impact this policy had on contemporary surgical wait times. Moreover, a discussion about the impact of delays in treatment has never been more timely than in the context of the current COVID19 pandemic, which has burdened health care systems around the world. Our primary objective was to establish whether longer wait time to surgery is a predictor of survival in patients with high grade endometrial cancer. This was a retrospective cohort study, which included patients diagnosed with non-endometrioid high-grade endometrial cancer (serous, carcinosarcoma, clear cell, and undifferentiated) between 2003 and 2017. A total of 2 regionalization periods were defined, before and after January 2014 to allow 6 months for knowledge translation after guideline publication. Patients were identified in population-based administrative provincial data sources. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression with a spline function was used to model the relationship between wait time and overall survival, as measured from time of surgery. We identified 3518 patients with high grade endometrial cancer. Median wait time between diagnosis and surgery for the entire cohort did not significantly change with regionalization of care (50 vs 52 days, p=0.14). Patients who had surgery with a gynecologic oncologist had a median surgical wait time from diagnosis to hysterectomy of 55 days compared to 59 days pre-regionalization (p=0.0002), and from first gynecologic oncology consultation to hysterectomy of 29 days compared to 32 days pre-regionalization (p=0.0006). Survival was worst for patients who had surgery within 14 days of diagnosis (HR death 2.7, 95% CI 1.61-4.51 for 1-7 days and HR death 1.96, 95% CI 1.5-2.57 for 8-14 days), indicating disease severity. Decreased survival occurred with surgical wait times of more than 45 days from the patient's first gynecologic-oncology appointment (HR death 1.19, 95% CI 1.04-1.36 for 46-60 days and HR death 1.42, 95% CI 1.11-1.82). [Display omitted] Regionalization of surgery for high grade endometrial cancer has not had a negative impact on surgical wait times. Impact on survival is seen with patients who have surgery more than 45 days after surgical consultation. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Gynecologic Oncology is the property of Academic Press Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Prev Med ; 151: 106586, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294323


It is essential to quantify the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer screening, including for vulnerable sub-populations, to inform the development of evidence-based, targeted pandemic recovery strategies. We undertook a population-based retrospective observational study in Ontario, Canada to assess the impact of the pandemic on organized cancer screening and diagnostic services, and assess whether patterns of cancer screening service use and diagnostic delay differ across population sub-groups during the pandemic. Provincial health databases were used to identify age-eligible individuals who participated in one or more of Ontario's breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer screening programs from January 1, 2019-December 31, 2020. Ontario's screening programs delivered 951,000 (-41%) fewer screening tests in 2020 than in 2019 and volumes for most programs remained more than 20% below historical levels by the end of 2020. A smaller percentage of cervical screening participants were older (50-59 and 60-69 years) during the pandemic when compared with 2019. Individuals in the oldest age groups and in lower-income neighborhoods were significantly more likely to experience diagnostic delay following an abnormal breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer screening test during the pandemic, and individuals with a high probability of living on a First Nation reserve were significantly more likely to experience diagnostic delay following an abnormal fecal test. Ongoing monitoring and management of backlogs must continue. Further evaluation is required to identify populations for whom access to cancer screening and diagnostic care has been disproportionately impacted and quantify impacts of these service disruptions on cancer incidence, stage, and mortality. This information is critical to pandemic recovery efforts that are aimed at achieving equitable and timely access to cancer screening-related care.

COVID-19 , Lung Neoplasms , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Aftercare , Delayed Diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Ontario , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2