COVID-19 pandemic has halted breast cancer screenings for many, study finds

COVID-19 pandemic has halted breast cancer screenings for many, study finds
COVID-19 pandemic has halted breast cancer screenings for many, study finds

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 public domain

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted routine medical checkups for many people.

A new study from Tulane University found that during the first wave of the pandemic, almost no women received mammograms, and it took months for mammogram screening rates to return to normal.

Mammograms are essential for detecting and diagnosing breast cancer. The study, published in Open JAMA Network, looked at data from nearly 45,000 female Medicaid recipients in Louisiana and found that testing rates among those women had dropped to near zero in April 2020. That wasn’t until September, five months later. , that screening rates have started to return to normal levels. Mammography screening rates fully recovered by mid-2021.

“Our study may provide new evidence for the association of the pandemic with screening mammography rates, particularly for a low-income population in a southern state,” said lead author Dr. Yixue Shao, researcher in health policy and management at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

“Delayed detection of breast cancer early in the pandemic may be associated with later-stage diagnoses or poorer prognoses for people with breast cancer.”

The study also looked at differences in screening rates by race and ethnicity. While non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women saw the largest increases in mammograms after the initial pandemic-induced decline, the study found “no significant differences in rate increases by race or ethnicity. ”.

Still, Shao said more work should be done to examine the effect of delayed screenings on people with breast cancer or those who had not yet been diagnosed.

More information:
Yixue Shao et al, Comparison of screening mammography rates before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among Medicaid recipients in Louisiana, Open JAMA Network (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.51687

Provided by Tulane University

Quote: The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted breast cancer screenings for many people, according to a study (2023, January 24) retrieved on January 24, 2023 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-01-covid -pandemic-halted-breast-cancer.html

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. COVID19 pandemic halted breast cancer screenings study finds

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