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Cancer Screenings Declines During COVID-19 Pandemic

July 1, 2021 • 9:27 am CDT
(Vax Before Cancer)

The COVID-19 pandemic might have exacerbated disparities as supply and demand for cancer screening services were reduced, according to research published in advance of October 2021 by Science Direct.

These researchers examined COVID-19's impact on National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program  (NBCCEDP) screening services during January-June 2020. They 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.

Furthermore, the extent of screening declines varied by geography.

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) than the previous 5-year averages. 

By June 2020, NBCCEDP breast and cervical cancer screening test volume was only 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.