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Prev Med ; 151: 106623, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240652


COVID-19 has disrupted cervical screening in several countries, due to a range of policy-, health-service and participant-related factors. Using three well-established models of cervical cancer natural history adapted to simulate screening across four countries, we compared the impact of a range of standardised screening disruption scenarios in four countries that vary in their cervical cancer prevention programs. All scenarios assumed a 6- or 12-month disruption followed by a rapid catch-up of missed screens. Cervical screening disruptions could increase cervical cancer cases by up to 5-6%. In all settings, more than 60% of the excess cancer burden due to disruptions are likely to have occurred in women aged less than 50 years in 2020, including settings where women in their 30s have previously been offered HPV vaccination. Approximately 15-30% of cancers predicted to result from disruptions could be prevented by maintaining colposcopy and precancer treatment services during any disruption period. Disruptions to primary screening had greater adverse effects in situations where women due to attend for screening in 2020 had cytology (vs. HPV) as their previous primary test. Rapid catch-up would dramatically increase demand for HPV tests in 2021, which it may not be feasible to meet because of competing demands on the testing machines and reagents due to COVID tests. These findings can inform future prioritisation strategies for catch-up that balance potential constraints on resourcing with clinical need.

COVID-19 , Papillomavirus Infections , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Mass Screening , Papillomavirus Infections/diagnosis , Papillomavirus Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control
Lancet Public Health ; 6(7): e522-e527, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1211226


Disruptions to cancer screening services have been experienced in most settings as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ideally, programmes would resolve backlogs by temporarily expanding capacity; however, in practice, this is often not possible. We aim to inform the deliberations of decision makers in high-income settings regarding their cervical cancer screening policy response. We caution against performance measures that rely solely on restoring testing volumes to pre-pandemic levels because they will be less effective at mitigating excess cancer diagnoses than will targeted measures. These measures might exacerbate pre-existing inequalities in accessing cervical screening by disregarding the risk profile of the individuals attending. Modelling of cervical screening outcomes before and during the pandemic supports risk-based strategies as the most effective way for screening services to recover. The degree to which screening is organised will determine the feasibility of deploying some risk-based strategies, but implementation of age-based risk stratification should be universally feasible.

COVID-19 , Early Detection of Cancer , Mass Screening , Pandemics , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
J Med Screen ; 28(2): 213-216, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140458


OBJECTIVES: To quantify the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions to cervical cancer screening in the United States, stratified by step in the screening process and primary test modality, on cervical cancer burden. METHODS: We conducted a comparative model-based analysis using three independent NCI Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network cervical models to quantify the impact of eight alternative COVID-19-related screening disruption scenarios compared to a scenario of no disruptions. Scenarios varied by the duration of the disruption (6 or 24 months), steps in the screening process being disrupted (primary screening, surveillance, colposcopy, excisional treatment), and primary screening modality (cytology alone or cytology plus human papillomavirus "cotesting"). RESULTS: The models consistently showed that COVID-19-related disruptions yield small net increases in cervical cancer cases by 2027, which are greater for women previously screened with cytology compared with cotesting. When disruptions affected all four steps in the screening process under cytology-based screening, there were an additional 5-7 and 38-45 cases per one million screened for 6- and 24-month disruptions, respectively. In contrast, under cotesting, there were additional 4-5 and 35-45 cases per one million screened for 6- and 24-month disruptions, respectively. The majority (58-79%) of the projected increases in cases under cotesting were due to disruptions to surveillance, colposcopies, or excisional treatment, rather than to primary screening. CONCLUSIONS: Women in need of surveillance, colposcopies, or excisional treatment, or whose last primary screen did not involve human papillomavirus testing, may comprise priority groups for reintroductions.

COVID-19 , Early Detection of Cancer , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Adult , Colposcopy , Cytological Techniques , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , Papillomaviridae/isolation & purification , Papillomavirus Infections/diagnosis , United States , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology