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2.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila) ; 14(10): 919-926, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450634

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization global call to eliminate cervical cancer encourages countries to consider introducing or improving cervical cancer screening programs. Brazil's Unified Health System (SUS) is among the world's largest public health systems offering free cytology testing, follow-up colposcopy, and treatment. Yet, health care networks across the country have unequal infrastructure, human resources, equipment, and supplies resulting in uneven program performance and large disparities in cervical cancer incidence and mortality. An effective screening program needs multiple strategies feasible for each community's reality, facilitating coverage and follow-up adherence. Prioritizing those at highest risk with tests that better stratify risk will limit inefficiencies, improving program impact across different resource settings. Highly sensitive human papillomavirus (HPV)-DNA testing performs better than cytology and, with self-collection closer to homes and workplaces, improves access, even in remote regions. Molecular triage strategies like HPV genotyping can identify from the same self-collected sample, those at highest risk requiring follow-up. If proven acceptable, affordable, cost-effective, and efficient in the Brazilian context, these strategies would increase coverage while removing the need for speculum exams for routine screening and reducing follow-up visits. SUS could implement a nationwide organized program that accommodates heterogenous settings across Brazil, informing a variety of screening programs worldwide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cytodiagnosis/methods , Early Detection of Cancer/methods , Papillomaviridae/isolation & purification , Papillomavirus Infections/complications , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Brazil/epidemiology , DNA, Viral/analysis , DNA, Viral/genetics , Female , Humans , Papillomavirus Infections/genetics , Papillomavirus Infections/virology , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/virology
3.
Prev Med ; 153: 106826, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440420

ABSTRACT

Worldwide, cancer screening faced significant disruption in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If this has led to changes in public attitudes towards screening and reduced intention to participate, there is a risk of long-term adverse impact on cancer outcomes. In this study, we examined previous participation and future intentions to take part in cervical and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening following the first national lockdown in the UK. Overall, 7543 adults were recruited to a cross-sectional online survey in August-September 2020. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify correlates of strong screening intentions among 2319 participants eligible for cervical screening and 2502 eligible for home-based CRC screening. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a sub-sample of 30 participants. Verbatim transcripts were analysed thematically. Of those eligible, 74% of survey participants intended to attend cervical screening and 84% intended to complete home-based CRC screening when next invited. Thirty percent and 19% of the cervical and CRC samples respectively said they were less likely to attend a cancer screening appointment now than before the pandemic. Previous non-participation was the strongest predictor of low intentions for cervical (aOR 26.31, 95% CI: 17.61-39.30) and CRC (aOR 67.68, 95% CI: 33.91-135.06) screening. Interview participants expressed concerns about visiting healthcare settings but were keen to participate when screening programmes resumed. Intentions to participate in future screening were high and strongly associated with previous engagement in both programmes. As screening services recover, it will be important to monitor participation and to ensure people feel safe to attend.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Adult , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Intention , Mass Screening , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis
4.
Pan Afr Med J ; 39: 149, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359430

ABSTRACT

Cervical cancer is the leading gynaecological malignancy in Zimbabwe, constituting 33% of all female cancers in 2016. Primary prevention through vaccination and secondary prevention through screening are important public health interventions to reduce the cervical cancer burden. Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to healthcare delivery, posing threats to prevention efforts at a time when the public health sector is extremely fragile. The fragility of the sector has complicated treatment for cervical cancer before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is expected to worsen beyond the pandemic. A multi-sectoral intersection between public health experts, clinicians and communities is urgently required to restore preventive and treatment services for cervical cancer and reduce the increased burden, morbidity and mortality stemming indirectly from the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Public Health , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Early Detection of Cancer/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/therapy , Zimbabwe
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(14)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323222

ABSTRACT

Cervical cancer screening (CCS) has been proven to reducing mortality of cervical cancer; yet migrant women show a lower participation in screening compared to non-migrants. This study explores the perspectives of healthcare workers and community workers on the factors influencing the CCS participation of migrant women living in Portugal. A qualitative study with online focus groups was conducted. Healthcare workers experienced in CCS and community workers working with migrant communities were purposively sampled. A semi-structured guide was used covering the participation of migrant women in CCS, barriers, and strategies to overcome them. Data were analyzed using content analysis. Participants considered that migrant women have low participation in CCS related to insufficient knowledge, low risk perception, and lack of interest on preventive care. Other barriers such as difficulties in accessing the healthcare services, relationship with healthcare workers, language, and cultural differences were highlighted. Promoting continuity of care, disseminating culturally tailored information, and use of self-sampling methods were suggested to improve participation in CCS. Inequalities in access to CCS among migrant women are mostly caused by information gaps and healthcare system-related barriers. Building a migrant-friendly healthcare system that creates opportunities for healthcare workers to establish relationships with their patients and delivering culturally and linguistically adapted information may contribute to overcoming those barriers and increasing the participation of migrant women in screening.


Subject(s)
Transients and Migrants , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Mass Screening , Portugal , Qualitative Research , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control
7.
BJOG ; 128(9): 1503-1510, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315738

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cervical screening, colposcopy and treatment volumes in Ontario, Canada. DESIGN: Population-based retrospective observational study. SETTING: Ontario, Canada. POPULATION: People with a cervix age of 21-69 years who completed at least one cervical screening cytology test, colposcopy or treatment procedure for cervical dysplasia between January 2019 and August 2020. METHODS: Administrative databases were used to compare cervical screening cytology, colposcopy and treatment procedure volumes before (historical comparator) and during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-August 2020). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in cervical screening cytology, colposcopy and treatment volumes; individuals with high-grade cytology awaiting colposcopy. RESULTS: During the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the monthly average number of cervical screening cytology tests, colposcopies and treatments decreased by 63.8% (range: -92.3 to -41.0%), 39.7% (range: -75.1 to -14.3%) and 31.1% (range: -43.5 to -23.6%), respectively, when compared with the corresponding months in 2019. Between March and August 2020, on average 292 (-51.0%) fewer high-grade cytological abnormalities were detected through screening each month. As of August 2020, 1159 (29.2%) individuals with high-grade screening cytology were awaiting follow-up colposcopy. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on key cervical screening and follow-up services in Ontario. As the pandemic continues, ongoing monitoring of service utilisation to inform system response and recovery is required. Future efforts to understand the impact of COVID-19-related disruptions on cervical cancer outcomes will be needed. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on cervical screening and follow-up services in Ontario, Canada.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Colposcopy/statistics & numerical data , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/therapy , Vaginal Smears/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Databases, Factual , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Early Detection of Cancer/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Ontario , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
8.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0253493, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298079

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To validate the colposcopy indication proposed by the 2019 ASCCP Risk-Based Management Consensus Guidelines for abnormal cervical cancer screening tests (the 2019 ASCCP guidelines). METHODS: Clinical data of 1404 patients who underwent colposcopy in single center in China were reviewed. Based on history and current cervical screening (HPV & cytology), corresponding recommendations were given according to the 2019 ASCCP guidelines. The agreement and discrepancy of colposcopy indication were analyzed between the Chinese consensus and the 2019 ASCCP guidelines. RESULTS: Colposcopy indication was matched in about 80% patients. The left 20% were recommended with follow-up by the 2019 ASCCP guidelines. The discrepancy mainly focused on patients having a current result of HPV-positive NILM without unknown history. The ratio of observed CIN3+ in our database over estimated CIN3+ by the 2019 ASCCP guidelines was 6.2 (31/5). The ratio was even higher in patients with HPV16/18-positive NILM (7, 28/4), compared with those with other types of high-risk HPV-positive NILM (3, 3/1). The 2019 ASCCP guidelines had a relatively high sensitivity (83.1%), a low specificity (21.5%), a low positive predictive value (14.1%) and a high negative predictive value (89.1%) for prediction of CIN 3+. CONCLUSIONS: We could try to apply the 2019 ASCCP guidelines in Chinese population. The classification of HR-HPV was strongly recommended during risk assessment. For patients with HPV16/18 infection, colposcopy should be recommended. Perspective multi-center randomized controlled trial with reliable follow-up should be performed in the future to confirm the feasibility.


Subject(s)
Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia/diagnosis , Colposcopy/standards , Early Detection of Cancer/methods , Guidelines as Topic , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Adult , Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia/pathology , China , Female , Human papillomavirus 16/isolation & purification , Human papillomavirus 18/isolation & purification , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Papillomavirus Infections/pathology , Retrospective Studies , Risk , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/pathology
9.
Prev Med ; 151: 106606, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294328

ABSTRACT

Screening is an important component of cancer control internationally. In Scotland, the National Health Service Scotland provides screening programmes for cervical, bowel and breast cancers. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the suspension of these programmes in March 2020. We describe the integrated approach to managing the impact of the pandemic on cancer screening programmes in Scotland throughout 2020. We outline the policy context and decision-making process leading to suspension, and the criteria and framework informing the subsequent, staggered, restart in subsequent months. The decision to suspend screening services in order to protect screening invitees and staff, and manage NHS capacity, was made after review of numbers of screening participants likely to be affected, and the potential number of delayed cancer diagnoses. Restart principles and a detailed route map plan were developed for each programme, seeking to ensure broad consistency of approach across the programmes and nationally. Early data indicates bowel, breast and cervical screening participation has increased since restart. Primary care has had to adapt to new infection prevention control measures for delivery of cervical screening. Cancer charities provided cancer intelligence and policy briefs to national bodies and Scottish Government, as well as supporting the public, patients and screening invitees through information and awareness campaigns. Emerging from the pandemic, there is recognition of the need and the opportunity to transform and renew both cancer and screening services in Scotland, and in particular to address long-standing workforce capacity problems through innovation and investment, and to continue to prioritise addressing health inequalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland , State Medicine , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control
10.
Prev Med ; 151: 106596, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294325

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has a major impact on a wide range of health outcomes. Disruptions of elective health services related to cervical screening, management of abnormal screening test results, and treatment of precancers, may lead to increases in cervical cancer incidence and exacerbate existing health disparities. Modeling studies suggest that a short delay of cervical screening in subjects with previously negative HPV results has minor effects on cancer outcomes, while delay of management and treatment can lead to larger increases in cervical cancer. Several approaches can mitigate the effects of disruption of cervical screening and management. HPV-based screening has higher accuracy compared to cytology, and a negative HPV result provides longer reassurance against cervical cancer; further, HPV testing can be conducted from self-collected specimens. Self-collection expands the reach of screening to underserved populations who currently do not participate in screening. Self-collection and can also provide alternative screening approaches during the pandemic because testing can be supported by telehealth and specimens collected in the home, substantially reducing patient-provider contact and risk of COVID-19 exposure, and also expanding the reach of catch-up services to address backlogs of screening tests that accumulated during the pandemic. Risk-based management allows prioritizing management of patients at highest risk of cervical cancer while extending screening intervals for those at lowest risk. The pandemic provides important lessons for how to make cervical screening more resilient to disruptions and how to reduce cervical cancer disparities that may be exacerbated due to disruptions of health services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Papillomavirus Infections , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Mass Screening , Pandemics , Papillomaviridae , Papillomavirus Infections/diagnosis , Papillomavirus Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology
11.
Prev Med ; 151: 106569, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294321

ABSTRACT

The expeditious diagnosis and treatment of high-grade cervical precancers are fundamental to cervical cancer prevention. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic healthcare systems have at times restricted in-person visits to those deemed urgent. Professional societies provided some guidance to clinicians regarding ways in which traditional cervical cancer screening might be modified, but many gaps remained. To address these gaps, leaders of screening programs at an academic medical center and an urban safety net hospital in California formed a rapid-action committee to provide guidance to its practitioners. Patients were divided into 6 categories corresponding to various stages in the screening process and ranked by risk of underlying high-grade cervical precancer and cancer. Tiers corresponding to the intensity of the local pandemic were constructed, and clinical delays were lengthened for the lowest-risk patients as tiers escalated. The final product was a management grid designed to escalate and de-escalate with changes in the local epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this effort resulted in substantial delays in clinical screening services as mandated by the healthcare systems, the population effects of delaying on both cervical cancer outcomes as well as the beneficial effects related to decreasing transmission of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 have yet to be elucidated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Academic Medical Centers , California , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety-net Providers , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis
12.
Prev Med ; 151: 106559, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294320

ABSTRACT

Women from racial and ethnic minority groups face a disproportionate burden of cervical and breast cancers in the United States. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic might exacerbate these disparities as supply and demand for screening services are reduced. The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides cancer screening services to women with low income and inadequate health insurance. We examined COVID-19's impact on NBCCEDP screening services during January-June 2020. We found the total number of NBCCEDP-funded breast and cervical cancer screening tests declined by 87% and 84%, respectively, during April 2020 compared with the previous 5-year averages for that month. The extent of declines varied by geography, race/ethnicity, and rurality. In April 2020, screening test volume declined most severely in Health and Human Services Region 2 - New York (96% for breast, 95% for cervical cancer screening) compared to the previous 5-year averages. The greatest declines were among American Indian/Alaskan Native women for breast cancer screening (98%) and Asian Pacific Islander women for cervical cancer screening (92%). Test volume began to recover in May and, by June 2020, NBCCEDP breast and cervical cancer screening test volume was 39% and 40% below the 5-year average for that month, respectively. However, breast cancer screening remained over 50% below the 5-year average among women in rural areas. NBCCEDP programs reported assisting health care providers resume screening.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Mass Screening , Medically Uninsured , Minority Groups , New York , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis
15.
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
17.
Cytopathology ; 32(6): 766-770, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242155

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Currently, it is thought that uterine cervix mucosal samples present a low risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure. So far, there is no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 detection in Papanicolaou (Pap) smears. Nevertheless, clinicians could be exposed unaware to the coronavirus while performing and handling a Pap smear. We aimed to retrospectively evaluate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in cervical liquid-based cytology (LBC) samples in women who tested positive for a nasopharyngeal COVID-19 PCR test. METHODS: From our laboratory database, we identified patients with data on a cervical cancer screening LBC sample paired with a positive nasopharyngeal COVID-19 PCR test. Relevant LBC samples taken within an incubation period of 14 days and post-onset RNA shedding interval of 25 days were subsequently tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using RT-PCR tests. RESULTS: The study group consisted of 102 women. Of those, 23 LBC samples were tested. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in one LBC sample from a 26-year-old asymptomatic woman taken six days before reporting headaches and knee arthralgia with a positive nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test. CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in cervical LBC samples at an early asymptomatic stage of COVID-19. In general, this finding is infrequent in asymptomatic women who tested SARS-CoV-2 positive within an incubation of 14 days and a post-onset RNA shedding period of 25 days. We fully support the current thinking that cervical LBC samples from asymptomatic women pose a low risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure and can be handled in the frame of good microbiological practice and procedures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 , Papanicolaou Test , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaginal Smears , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/genetics , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/metabolism , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/virology
18.
Prev Med ; 151: 106623, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240652

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
19.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 7: 416-424, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1239918

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The coronavirus-induced pandemic has put great pressure on health systems worldwide. Nonemergency health services, such as cancer screening, have been scaled down or withheld as a result of travel restrictions and resources being redirected to manage the pandemic. The present article discusses the challenges to cancer screening implementation in the pandemic environment, suggesting ways to optimize services for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening. METHODS: The manuscript was drafted by a team of public health specialists with expertise in implementation and monitoring of cancer screening. A scoping review of literature revealed the lack of comprehensive guidance on continuation of cancer screening in the midst of waxing and waning of infection. The recommendations in the present article were based on the advisories issued by different health agencies and professional bodies and the authors' understanding of the best practices to maintain quality-assured cancer screening. RESULTS: A well-coordinated approach is required to ensure that essential health services such as cancer management are maintained and elective services are not threatened, especially because of resource constraints. In the context of cancer screening, a few changes in invitation strategies, screening and management protocols and program governance need to be considered to fit into the new normal situation. Restoring public trust in providing efficient and safe services should be one of the key mandates for screening program reorganization. This may be a good opportunity to introduce innovations (eg, telehealth) and consider de-implementing non-evidence-based practices. It is necessary to consider increased spending on primary health care and incorporating screening services in basic health package. CONCLUSION: The article provides guidance on reorganization of screening policies, governance, implementation, and program monitoring.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Neoplasms/prevention & control , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/prevention & control , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Health Policy , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Telemedicine , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control
20.
Prev Med ; 151: 106624, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237916

ABSTRACT

Cancer screening programs from majority of the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) report screening coverage as the only performance indicator, and that too measured through population-based sample surveys. Such information is unreliable and has very little value in assessing programmatic quality and impact. Regular monitoring of key process and outcome indicators based on data collected through a robust information system is essential to ensure quality of a screening programme. Fragmented health systems, limited resources and absence of a culture of systematic evaluation are the major hindrances for most of the LMICs to build electronic information systems to manage screening. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an impetus for the countries to customize the freely available District Health Information Software (DHIS2) to collect electronic data to track the outbreaks and manage containment measures. In the present article we present Bangladesh as an exemplar LMIC that has a (DHIS2) based integrated health information system gradually upgraded to collect individual data of the participants to the national cervical cancer screening program. Such efforts paid rich dividends as the screening program was switched from opportunistic to a population-based one. Moreover, the electronic system could report impact of the pandemic on cancer screening on a monthly basis. The aggregate number of women screened in the year 2020 was 14.1% less compared to 2019. The monthly rate of screening during peak of the outbreak was only 5.1% of the previous year. The rate rapidly recovered as the program intensified screening in the hard-to-reach regions less affected by the pandemic and expanded the outreach services. Other LMICs may emulate Bangladesh example. Customizing the information system developed for pandemic surveillance to collect cancer screening data will help them build back the screening programs better.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Bangladesh/epidemiology , Developing Countries , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis
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