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1.
BMJ Open Gastroenterol ; 9(1)2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630258

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe a conceptual framework that provides understanding of the challenges encountered and the adaptive approaches taken by organised colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programmes during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: This was a qualitative case study of international CRC screening programmes. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with programme managers/leaders and programme experts, researchers and clinical leaders of large, population-based screening programmes. Data analysis, using elements of grounded theory, as well as cross-cases analysis was conducted by two experienced qualitative researchers. RESULTS: 19 participants were interviewed from seven programmes in North America, Europe and Australasia. A conceptual framework ('Nimble Approach') was the key outcome of the analysis. Four concepts constitute this approach to managing CRC screening programmes during COVID-19: Fast (meeting the need to make decisions and communicate quickly), Adapting (flexibly and creatively managing testing/colonoscopy capacity, access and backlogs), Calculating (modelling and actively monitoring programmes to inform decision-making and support programme quality) and Ethically Mindful (considering ethical conundrums emerging from programme responses). Highly integrated programmes, those with highly integrated communication networks, and that managed greater portions of the screening process seemed best positioned to respond to the crisis. CONCLUSIONS: The Nimble Approach has potentially broad applications; it can be deployed to effectively respond to programme-specific challenges or manage CRC programmes during future pandemics, other health crises or emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
JCO Clin Cancer Inform ; 6: e2100180, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622297

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Social media platforms such as Twitter are extensively used to communicate about cancer care, yet little is known about the role of these online platforms in promoting early detection or sharing the lived experiences of patients with CRC. This study tracked Twitter discussions about CRC and characterized participating users to better understand public communication and perceptions of CRC during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Tweets containing references to CRC were collected from January 2020 to April 2021 using Twitter's Application Programming Interface. Account metadata was used to predict user demographic information and classify users as either organizations, individuals, clinicians, or influencers. We compared the number of impressions across users and analyzed the content of tweets using natural language processing models to identify prominent topics of discussion. RESULTS: There were 72,229 unique CRC-related tweets by 31,170 users. Most users were male (66%) and older than 40 years (57%). Individuals accounted for most users (44%); organizations (35%); clinicians (19%); and influencers (2%). Influencers made the most median impressions (35,853). Organizations made the most overall impressions (1,067,189,613). Tweets contained the following topics: bereavement (20%), appeals for early detection (20%), research (17%), National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (15%), screening access (14%), and risk factors (14%). CONCLUSION: Discussions about CRC largely focused on bereavement and early detection. Online coverage of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and personal experiences with CRC effectively stimulated goal-oriented tweets about early detection. Our findings suggest that although Twitter is commonly used for communicating about CRC, partnering with influencers may be an effective strategy for improving communication of future public health recommendations related to CRC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Social Media , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
BJS Open ; 5(6)2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510889

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact on cancer care but the extent to which this has affected the management of colorectal cancer (CRC) in different countries is unknown. CRC management in Denmark was thought to have been relatively less impacted than in other nations during the first wave of the pandemic. The aim of this study was to determine the pandemic's impact on CRC in Denmark. METHODS: The Danish national cancer registry identified patients with newly diagnosed with CRC from 1 March 2020 to 1 August 2020 (pandemic interval) and corresponding dates in 2019 (prepandemic interval). Data regarding clinicopathological demographics and perioperative outcomes were retrieved and compared between the two cohorts. RESULTS: Total CRC diagnoses (201 versus 359 per month, P = 0.008) and screening diagnoses (38 versus 80 per month, P = 0.016) were both lower in the pandemic interval. The proportions of patients presenting acutely and the stage at presentation were, however, unaffected. For those patients having surgery, both colonic and rectal cancer operations fell to about half the prepandemic levels: colon (187 (i.q.r. 183-188) to 96 (i.q.r. 94-112) per month, P = 0.032) and rectal cancers (63 (i.q.r. 59-75) to 32 (i.q.r. 28-42) per month, P = 0.008). No difference was seen in surgical practice or postoperative 30-day mortality rate (colon 2.2 versus 2.2 per cent, P = 0.983; rectal 1.0 versus 2.9 per cent, P = 0.118) between the cohorts. Treatment during the pandemic interval was not independently associated with death at 30 or 90 days. CONCLUSION: The initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of new diagnoses made and number of operations but had limited impact on technique or outcomes of CRC care in Denmark.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Chemotherapy, Adjuvant/statistics & numerical data , Cohort Studies , Colectomy/statistics & numerical data , Colorectal Neoplasms/pathology , Denmark/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Registries
4.
World J Gastroenterol ; 27(38): 6415-6429, 2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472443

ABSTRACT

Faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) are the most widely colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnostic biomarker available. Many population screening programmes are based on this biomarker, with the goal of reducing CRC mortality. Moreover, in recent years, a large amount of evidence has been produced on the use of FIT to detect CRC in patients with abdominal symptoms in primary healthcare as well as in surveillance after adenoma resection. The aim of this review is to highlight the available evidence on these two topics. We will summarize the evidence on diagnostic yield in symptomatic patients with CRC and significant colonic lesion and the different options to use this (thresholds, brands, number of determinations, prediction models and combinations). We will include recommendations on FIT strategies in primary healthcare proposed by regulatory bodies and scientific societies and their potential effects on healthcare resources and CRC prognosis. Finally, we will show information regarding FIT-based surveillance as an alternative to endoscopic surveillance after high-risk polyp resection. To conclude, due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, FIT-based strategies have become extremely relevant since they enable a reduction of colonoscopy demand and access to the healthcare system by selecting individuals with the highest risk of CRC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Feces/chemistry , Hemoglobins/analysis , Humans , Mass Screening , Occult Blood , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 08 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374412

ABSTRACT

The frequency of colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis has decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health system planning is needed to address the backlog of undiagnosed patients. We developed a framework for analyzing barriers to diagnosis and estimating patient volumes under different system relaunch scenarios. This retrospective study included CRC cases from the Alberta Cancer Registry for the pre-pandemic (1 January 2016-4 March 2020) and intra-pandemic (5 March 2020-1 July 2020) periods. The data on all the diagnostic milestones in the year prior to a CRC diagnosis were obtained from administrative health data. The CRC diagnostic pathways were identified, and diagnostic intervals were measured. CRC diagnoses made during hospitalization were used as a proxy for severe disease at presentation. A modified Poisson regression analysis was used to estimate the adjusted relative risk (adjRR) and a 95% confidence interval (CI) for the effect of the pandemic on the risk of hospital-based diagnoses. During the study period, 8254 Albertans were diagnosed with CRC. During the pandemic, diagnosis through asymptomatic screening decreased by 6·5%. The adjRR for hospital-based diagnoses intra-COVID-19 vs. pre-COVID-19 was 1.24 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.49). Colonoscopies were identified as the main bottleneck for CRC diagnoses. To clear the backlog before progression is expected, high-risk subgroups should be targeted to double the colonoscopy yield for CRC diagnosis, along with the need for a 140% increase in monthly colonoscopy volumes for a period of 3 months. Given the substantial health system changes required, it is unlikely that a surge in CRC cases will be diagnosed over the coming months. Administrators in Alberta are using these findings to reduce wait times for CRC diagnoses and monitor progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Alberta/epidemiology , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Chirurgia (Bucur) ; 116(3): 331-338, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335492

ABSTRACT

Background: Causing healthcare systems overload, COVID-19 pandemic has a huge influence on patients with colorectal cancer. The aim of our study was to assess the potential impact of COVID-19 on the stage of colorectal cancer. Methods: In our retrospective study, two groups of patients operated for colorectal cancer were analyzed at the Clinic for Surgery "Nikola Spasic", Zvezdara University Medical Center. The study group consisted of 49 patients operated in the period from March 15, 2020 to April 2021, during COVID-19 pandemic. The control group consisted of 152 patients, who were operated on in the period from January 1, 2019. to December 31, 2019. Results: There were no difference in surgical approach, prevalence of stoma, percentages of postoperative complications and rates of hospital readmission between both groups. T4b tumor stage was statistically significant more common in the study group (12.2% vs 3.3%, p=0.027). Locally advanced tumors, stage IIC, were statistically significantly more common in the group of patients operated on during the COVID-19 pandemic (10.2% vs 1.3%, p=0.01). Conclusion: Higher number of locally advanced tumors in study group could probably be caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/surgery , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
9.
ANZ J Surg ; 91(10): 2091-2096, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301446

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in global disruptions to the delivery of healthcare. The national responses of Australia and New Zealand has resulted in unprecedented changes to the care of colorectal cancer patients, amongst others. This paper aims to determine the impact of COVID-19 on colorectal cancer diagnosis and management in Australia and New Zealand. METHODS: This is a multicentre retrospective cohort study using the prospectively maintained Binational Colorectal Cancer Audit (BCCA) registry. Data is contributed by over 200 surgeons in Australia and New Zealand. Patients receiving colorectal cancer surgery during the pandemic were compared to averages from the same period over the preceding 3 years. RESULTS: There were fewer operations in 2020 than the historical average. During April to June, patients were younger, more likely to have operations in public hospitals and more likely to have urgent or emergency operations. By October to December, proportionally less patients had Stage I disease, proportionally more had Stage II or III disease and there was no difference in Stage IV disease. Patients were less likely to have rectal cancer, were increasingly likely to have urgent or emergency surgery and more likely to have a stoma created. CONCLUSION: This study shows that the response to COVID-19 has had measurably negative effects on the diagnosis and management of colorectal cancer in two countries that have had significantly fewer COVID-19 cases than many other countries. The long-term effects on survival and recurrence are yet to be known, but could be significant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Rectal Neoplasms , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Humans , Neoplasm Recurrence, Local , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Prev Med ; 151: 106681, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294332

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to decreases in breast, colorectal, and cervical cancer screenings between 86 and 94% compared to three-year averages. These postponed screenings have created backlogs that systems will need to address as healthcare facilities re-open for preventive care. The American Cancer Society is leading a 17-month intervention with 22 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) across the United States aimed at reducing cancer incidence and mortality disparities and alleviating additional strain caused by COVID-19. This study describes COVID-related cancer screening service disruptions reported by participating FQHCs. Selected FQHCs experienced service disruptions and/or preventive care cancellations due to COVID-19 that varied in severity and duration. Fifty-nine percent stopped cancer screenings completely. Centers transitioned to telehealth visits or rescheduled for the future, but the impact of these strategies may be limited by continued pandemic-related disruptions and the inability to do most screenings at home; colon cancer screening being the exception. Most centers have resumed in-person screening, but limited in person appointments and high levels of community transmission may reduce FQHC abilities to provide catch-up services. FQHCs provide critical cancer prevention services to vulnerable populations. The delivery of culturally competent, high-quality healthcare can mitigate and potentially reverse racial and ethnic disparities in cancer prevention testing and treatment. Ensuring and expanding access to care as we move out of the pandemic will be critical to preventing excess cancer incidence and mortality in vulnerable populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Telemedicine , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/prevention & control , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
11.
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
12.
Prev Med ; 151: 106597, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294326

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected regular public health interventions including population-based cancer screening. Impacts of such screening delays on the changes in structure and screening process and the resultant long-term outcomes are unknown. It is therefore necessary to develop a systematic framework to assess theses impacts related to these components of quality. Using population-based cancer screening with fecal immunochemical test (FIT) as an illustration, the main analysis was to assess how various scenarios of screening delays were associated with the capacity for primary screening and full time equivalent (FTE) for colonoscopy and impact long-term outcomes based on a Markov decision tree model on population level. The second analysis was to quantify how the extent of COVID-19 epidemic measured by social distancing index affected capacity and FTE that were translated to delays with an exponential relationship. COVID-19 epidemic led to 25%, 29%, 34%, and 39% statistically significantly incremental risks of late cancer for the delays of 0.5-year, 1-year,1.5-year, and 2-year, respectively compared with regular biennial FIT screening. The corresponding statistically findings of four delayed schedules for death from colorectal cancer (CRC) were 26%, 28%, 29%, and 30%, respectively. The higher social distancing index led to a lower capacity of uptake screening and a larger reduction of FTE, resulting in longer screening delay and longer waiting time, which further impacted long-term outcomes as above. In summary, a systematic modelling approach was developed for demonstrating the strong impact of screening delays caused by COVID-19 epidemic on long-term outcomes illustrated with a Taiwan population-based FIT screening of CRC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Mass Screening , Occult Blood , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Taiwan
14.
JAMA Oncol ; 7(6): 885-894, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274648

ABSTRACT

Importance: In 2018, only half of US women obtained all evidence-based cancer screenings. This proportion may have declined during the COVID-19 pandemic because of social distancing, high-risk factors, and fear. Objective: To evaluate optimal screening strategies in women who obtain some, but not all, US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)-recommended cancer screenings. Design, Setting, and Participants: This modeling study was conducted from January 31, 2017, to July 20, 2020, and used 4 validated mathematical models from the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network using data from 20 million simulated women born in 1965 in the US. Interventions: Forty-five screening strategies were modeled that combined breast, cervical, colorectal, and/or lung cancer (LC) screenings; restricted to 1, 2, 3 or 4 screenings per year; or all eligible screenings once every 5 years. Main Outcomes and Measures: Modeled life-years gained from restricted cancer screenings as a fraction of those attainable from full compliance with USPSTF recommendations (maximum benefits). Results were stratified by LC screening eligibility (LC-eligible/ineligible). We repeated the analysis with 2018 adherence rates, evaluating the increase in adherence required for restricted screenings to have the same population benefit as USPSTF recommendations. Results: This modeling study of 20 million simulated US women found that it was possible to reduce screening intensity to 1 carefully chosen test per year in women who were ineligible for LC screening and 2 tests per year in eligible women while maintaining 94% or more of the maximum benefits. Highly ranked strategies screened for various cancers, but less often than recommended by the USPSTF. For example, among LC-ineligible women who obtained just 1 screening per year, the optimal strategy frequently delayed breast and cervical cancer screenings by 1 year and skipped 3 mammograms entirely. Among LC-eligible women, LC screening was essential; strategies omitting it provided 25% or less of the maximum benefits. The top-ranked strategy restricted to 2 screenings per year was annual LC screening and alternating fecal immunochemical test with mammography (skipping mammograms when due for cervical cancer screening, 97% of maximum benefits). If adherence in a population of LC-eligible women obtaining 2 screenings per year were to increase by 1% to 2% (depending on the screening test), this model suggests that it would achieve the same benefit as USPSTF recommendations at 2018 adherence rates. Conclusions and Relevance: This modeling study of 45 cancer screening strategies suggests that women who are noncompliant with cancer screening guidelines may be able to reduce USPSTF-recommended screening intensity with minimal reduction in overall benefits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Early Detection of Cancer , Models, Theoretical , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Breast Neoplasms/virology , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/virology , Female , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Lung Neoplasms/diagnosis , Lung Neoplasms/epidemiology , Lung Neoplasms/virology , Mammography , Patient Compliance , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/virology
16.
Prev Med ; 151: 106622, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246227

ABSTRACT

Colorectal cancer(CRC) is one of the most prevalent malignancies in the Asia-Pacific region, and many countries in this region have launched population CRC service screening. In this study, CRC screening key indicators, including the FIT(fecal immunochemical test) screening rate (or participation rate) and the rate of undergoing colonoscopy after positive FIT in 2019 and 2020, were surveyed in individual countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The impact of the pandemic on the effectiveness of CRC screening was simulated given different screening rates and colonoscopy rates and assuming the pandemic would persist or remain poorly controlled for a long period of time, using the empirical data from the Taiwanese program and the CRC natural history model. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the programs in this region were affected, but to different extents, which was largely influenced by the severity of the local pandemic. Most of the programs continued screening services in 2020, although a temporary pause occurred in some countries. The modeling study revealed that prolonged pauses of screening led to 6% lower effectiveness in reducing CRC mortality. Screening organizers should coordinate with health authorities to elaborate on addressing screening backlogs, setting priorities for screening, and applying modern technologies to overcome potential obstacles. Many novel approaches that were developed and applied during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the risk-stratified approach that takes into account personal CRC risk and the local epidemic status, as well as new digital technologies, are expected to play important roles in CRC screening in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Asia , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Mass Screening , Occult Blood , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book ; 41: 108-117, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234574

ABSTRACT

Colorectal cancer mortality has decreased considerably following the adoption of national screening programs, yet, within at-risk subgroups, there continue to be measurable differences in clinical outcomes from variations in screening, receipt of chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, access to clinical trials, research participation, and survivorship. These disparities are well-described and some have worsened over time. Disparities identified have included race and ethnicity, age (specifically young adults), socioeconomic status, insurance access, geography, and environmental exposures. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, colorectal cancer care has necessarily shifted dramatically, with broad, immediate uptake of telemedicine, transition to oral medications when feasible, and considerations for sequence of treatment. However, it has additionally marginalized patients with colorectal cancer with historically disparate cancer-specific outcomes; among them, uninsured, low-income, immigrant, and ethnic-minority patients-all of whom are more likely to become infected, be hospitalized, and die of either COVID-19 or colorectal cancer. Herein, we outline measurable disparities, review implemented solutions, and define strategies toward ensuring that all have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.


Subject(s)
Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Health Equity/standards , Humans
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