The examine discovered that thousands and thousands of girls skipped most cancers screening because of the Covid pandemic

According to researchers from the American Cancer Society, the Covid-19 pandemic led millions of women, especially Hispanic and low-income women, to give up breast and cervical cancer screening in 2020.

The main facts

  • More than 2 million women said they underwent breast cancer screening in 2020 compared to 2018, a decrease of 6%, while the number of women who reported having undergone cervical cancer screening fell by 11% in 2020 , the study states. Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • Testing at the start of the pandemic, in March and April 2020, fell by 80% and many later in 2020, but overall “the Covid-19 pandemic was constantly tested throughout the year,” said Ahmedin Jemal, lead author of the study. for Health Equality Surveillance and Science at the American Cancer Society.
  • Breast cancer screening has declined more among Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women than among white women, according to a study based on data from the National Behavioral Risk Monitoring System.
  • The number of Asian and Polynesian women who said they had undergone breast cancer screening also fell by 27%, the largest decline of all races.
  • People with less than a secondary education were less likely than college graduates to undergo breast and cervical cancer screening, with the number of cervical cancer screenings falling by 17.7% in 2020 for people who did not complete their secondary education, compared to 9 .5% in those. with higher education.

What we don’t know

Ahmedin Jemal questions the impact of these lower screening rates on potential cancer diagnoses, with the only certainty, of course, that researchers know that cancer screening saves lives.

Researchers will need to monitor this issue closely to “understand the impact of lower screening rates on cancer outcomes in people of different colors” and people on low incomes, working to improve “access to health care and cancer screening for all,” said Ahmedin Jemal. . .

Colorectal cancer screening in both men and women remained stable in 2020 compared to 2018, as patients were able to replace colonoscopy with stool tests at home, the researchers found.

Surprising fact

Routine examinations have helped halve cervical cancer deaths in the United States in the last 30 years, while mammography averts 12,000 deaths a year, according to the New York Department of Health.


The Covid-19 pandemic has led to major disruptions in access to health care, with many people delaying screening due to concerns about Covid’s presence and overloading health care systems. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, women were more likely during the pandemic than men without health care – including prevention services – and low-income women were more likely to deteriorate after resigning. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the overall cancer screening rate is lower among black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American populations than among Caucasians, leading to differences in cancer outcomes. Researchers have also found that people of color are more likely than their white counterparts to be insured and face other barriers to accessing health care. Study of JAMA is the first to evaluate the impact of a coronavirus pandemic on nationwide cancer screening using population data.

Article translated from American Forbes – Author: Madeline Halpert

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