“These kinds of things may have an impact on the results. For example, it is one thing to postpone screening for three to six months, but when we postpone a whole year or even think about it, we will worry more about what is worse. People who are more affected by the pandemic may lose their job or health insurance, and they may give up screening altogether,” Sprague said.
This study showed that white and black women also rebounded better than Asian and Hispanic women. Sprague said the study was a sample survey of radiological facilities with large populations throughout the United States, but it may also reflect conditions in some of these specific locations.
The findings were recently published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Sprague said that further research is underway to understand the impact of the pandemic on breast cancer detection and results.
Another latest report found that although cancer screening rates have begun to pick up, they have been diagnosed with a more advanced cancer than before the pandemic.
Dr. Thomas Eichler, president of the American Society of Radiation Oncology, told reporters at a briefing last week: “Although the trend of more advanced disease is worrying, it does not automatically mean that the patient’s prognosis will be worse. “Modern therapies such as stereotactic radiotherapy or immunotherapy drugs may counteract some of the threats of advanced cancer.”
Dr. Julie Gralow, chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, pointed out that another group of people, those over 70, has a greater delay in diagnosis of mammograms at the beginning of the pandemic, although these numbers have also picked up.
Early predictions of the pandemic believe that screening numbers will not rebound within six months, but this seems to happen faster. She pointed out that this may mean that the number of deaths above average is less than the concern expressed by experts earlier.
She said that now, it is important to assure those who have not yet returned that it is time to resume routine health maintenance, including screening for breast, cervical and colon cancer.