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1.
J Med Screen ; : 9691413211056777, 2021 Dec 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556973

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening with a faecal immunochemical test (FIT) has been disrupted in many countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Performing catch-up of missed screens while maintaining regular screening services requires additional colonoscopy capacity that may not be available. This study aimed to compare strategies that clear the screening backlog using limited colonoscopy resources. METHODS: A range of strategies were simulated using four country-specific CRC natural-history models: Adenoma and Serrated pathway to Colorectal CAncer (ASCCA) and MIcrosimulation SCreening ANalysis for CRC (MISCAN-Colon) (both in the Netherlands), Policy1-Bowel (Australia) and OncoSim (Canada). Strategies assumed a 3-month screening disruption with varying recovery period lengths (6, 12, and 24 months) and varying FIT thresholds for diagnostic colonoscopy. Increasing the FIT threshold reduces the number of referrals to diagnostic colonoscopy. Outcomes for each strategy were colonoscopy demand and excess CRC-related deaths due to the disruption. RESULTS: Performing catch-up using the regular FIT threshold in 6, 12 and 24 months could prevent most excess CRC-related deaths, but required 50%, 25% and 12.5% additional colonoscopy demand, respectively. Without exceeding usual colonoscopy demand, up to 60% of excess CRC-related deaths can be prevented by increasing the FIT threshold for 12 or 24 months. Large increases in FIT threshold could lead to additional deaths rather than preventing them. CONCLUSIONS: Clearing the screening backlog in 24 months could avert most excess CRC-related deaths due to a 3-month disruption but would require a small increase in colonoscopy demand. Increasing the FIT threshold slightly over 24 months could ease the pressure on colonoscopy resources.

2.
Prev Med ; 151: 106643, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294331

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many healthcare services worldwide. Like many other nations, the Netherlands experienced large numbers of individuals affected by COVID-19 in 2020, leading to increased demands on hospitals and intensive care units. The Dutch Ministry of Health decided to suspend the Dutch biennial fecal immunochemical test (FIT) based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening program from March 16, 2020. FIT invitations were resumed on June 3. In this study, we describe the short-term effects of this suspension on a myriad of relevant screening outcomes. As a result of the suspension, a quarter of the individuals due for screening between March and November 2020 had not received their invitation for FIT screening by November 30, 2020. Furthermore, 57.8% of those who received a consecutive FIT between the restart and November 30, 2020, received it outside the upper limit of the standard screening interval (26 months). Median time between positive FIT and colonoscopy did not change as a result of the pandemic. Participation rates of FIT screening and follow-up colonoscopy in the months just before and during the suspension were significantly lower than expected, but returned to normal levels after the suspension. Based on the anticipated 2020 cohort size, we estimate that the number of individuals with advanced neoplasia currently detected up until November 2020 was 31.2% lower compared to what would have been expected without a pandemic. Future studies should monitor the impact on long-term screening outcomes as a result of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Mass Screening , Netherlands/epidemiology , Occult Blood , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Br J Cancer ; 124(9): 1516-1523, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135654

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening programmes were disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to estimate the effects of five restart strategies after the disruption on required screening capacity and cancer burden. METHODS: Microsimulation models simulated five restart strategies for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening. The models estimated required screening capacity, cancer incidence, and cancer-specific mortality after a disruption of 6 months. The restart strategies varied in whether screens were caught up or not and, if so, immediately or delayed, and whether the upper age limit was increased. RESULTS: The disruption in screening programmes without catch-up of missed screens led to an increase of 2.0, 0.3, and 2.5 cancer deaths per 100 000 individuals in 10 years in breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer, respectively. Immediately catching-up missed screens minimised the impact of the disruption but required a surge in screening capacity. Delaying screening, but still offering all screening rounds gave the best balance between required capacity, incidence, and mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Strategies with the smallest loss in health effects were also the most burdensome for the screening organisations. Which strategy is preferred depends on the organisation and available capacity in a country.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Pandemics , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , Breast Neoplasms/complications , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Colorectal Neoplasms/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/complications
5.
Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 6(4): 304-314, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062700

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer screening programmes worldwide have been disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to estimate the impact of hypothetical disruptions to organised faecal immunochemical test-based colorectal cancer screening programmes on short-term and long-term colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in three countries using microsimulation modelling. METHODS: In this modelling study, we used four country-specific colorectal cancer microsimulation models-Policy1-Bowel (Australia), OncoSim (Canada), and ASCCA and MISCAN-Colon (the Netherlands)-to estimate the potential impact of COVID-19-related disruptions to screening on colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands annually for the period 2020-24 and cumulatively for the period 2020-50. Modelled scenarios varied by duration of disruption (3, 6, and 12 months), decreases in screening participation after the period of disruption (0%, 25%, or 50% reduction), and catch-up screening strategies (within 6 months after the disruption period or all screening delayed by 6 months). FINDINGS: Without catch-up screening, our analysis predicted that colorectal cancer deaths among individuals aged 50 years and older, a 3-month disruption would result in 414-902 additional new colorectal cancer diagnoses (relative increase 0·1-0·2%) and 324-440 additional deaths (relative increase 0·2-0·3%) in the Netherlands, 1672 additional diagnoses (relative increase 0·3%) and 979 additional deaths (relative increase 0·5%) in Australia, and 1671 additional diagnoses (relative increase 0·2%) and 799 additional deaths (relative increase 0·3%) in Canada between 2020 and 2050, compared with undisrupted screening. A 6-month disruption would result in 803-1803 additional diagnoses (relative increase 0·2-0·4%) and 678-881 additional deaths (relative increase 0·4-0·6%) in the Netherlands, 3552 additional diagnoses (relative increase 0·6%) and 1961 additional deaths (relative increase 1·0%) in Australia, and 2844 additional diagnoses (relative increase 0·3%) and 1319 additional deaths (relative increase 0·4%) in Canada between 2020 and 2050, compared with undisrupted screening. A 12-month disruption would result in 1619-3615 additional diagnoses (relative increase 0·4-0·9%) and 1360-1762 additional deaths (relative increase 0·8-1·2%) in the Netherlands, 7140 additional diagnoses (relative increase 1·2%) and 3968 additional deaths (relative increase 2·0%) in Australia, and 5212 additional diagnoses (relative increase 0·6%) and 2366 additional deaths (relative increase 0·8%) in Canada between 2020 and 2050, compared with undisrupted screening. Providing immediate catch-up screening could minimise the impact of the disruption, restricting the relative increase in colorectal cancer incidence and deaths between 2020 and 2050 to less than 0·1% in all countries. A post-disruption decrease in participation could increase colorectal cancer incidence by 0·2-0·9% and deaths by 0·6-1·6% between 2020 and 2050, compared with undisrupted screening. INTERPRETATION: Although the projected effect of short-term disruption to colorectal cancer screening is modest, such disruption will have a marked impact on colorectal cancer incidence and deaths between 2020 and 2050 attributable to missed screening. Thus, it is crucial that, if disrupted, screening programmes ensure participation rates return to previously observed rates and provide catch-up screening wherever possible, since this could mitigate the impact on colorectal cancer deaths. FUNDING: Cancer Council New South Wales, Health Canada, and Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Occult Blood , Aged , Australia/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology
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