Women's Health
Basic InformationLatest News
Can a Computer Program Help Docs Spot Breast Cancer?Common Hormone Disorder in Women Costs U.S. $8 Billion a YearSexual Assault Could Affect a Woman's Long-Term Brain HealthMigraines and More Severe Hot Flashes Could Be LinkedMore Women Turning to Marijuana Products to Help With MenopauseDepression During Menopause: How to Spot It and Treat ItPandemic Has Many Women Holding Back on Motherhood, NYC Study FindsIs Hysterectomy Always Needed for a Common, Painful Gynecologic Condition?Your State's Laws Might Save Your Life If Breast Cancer StrikesMom-to-Be's 'Leaky' Heart Valves May Pose More Danger Than ThoughtMore College-Educated Women Are Having Children Outside of MarriagePandemic Brought Big Drop in Breast Cancer Screening in Older, Low-Income WomenFor Better Breastfeeding, 'Lactation Consultants' Can HelpCOVID Vaccine Safe, Recommended for Pregnant Women, CDC SaysWomen Less Likely to Get Best Care for Deadly Form of StrokeLeading U.S. Ob-Gyn Groups Urge COVID Vaccines for All Pregnant WomenAcne Can Take Big Emotional Toll on WomenVitamin D May Lower Black Women's Odds for COVID-19Mom's Weight-Loss Surgery Lowers Many Pregnancy Complications, Raises OthersPregnant Women Need to Take Care in Sweltering Summer HeatAre Antibiotics Really the Answer for UTIs in Women?Stronger Hearts, Better Outcomes in Pregnancy: StudyCould Menopausal Hormone Therapy Reduce Women's Odds for Dementia?Screening Often Misses Endometrial Cancer in Black WomenAHA News: Pregnant Mom's Diet May Influence Baby's Cardiovascular HealthPandemic Delays in Screening Mean More Breast Cancer Deaths Ahead: StudyCOVID Vaccine Doesn't Infiltrate Breast MilkGap in Breast Cancer Survival for Black, White Patients Shrinks, But Not by EnoughCost a Barrier to Cervical Cancer Screening for Many U.S. WomenAlcohol Still a Threat in Too Many American Pregnancies: StudyWomen's Cancer Screenings Plummeted During PandemicPandemic Day Care Closures Forced 600,000 U.S. Working Moms to Leave JobsNo Sign Prior COVID Infection Affects a Woman's Fertility: StudyWomen, Take These Key Steps to Good Urological HealthAre Women Absorbing Toxins From Their Makeup?Race Doesn't Affect Risk for Genes That Raise Breast Cancer RiskHealthy Levels of Vitamin D May Boost Breast Cancer OutcomesHeavy Drinking Could Lower a Woman's Odds of ConceptionAHA News: Asian and Pacific Islander Women May Be at Greatest Risk for Preeclampsia ComplicationsFibroid Pain, Bleeding Is Driving Thousands of Women to the ERA Woman's Diet Might Help Her Avoid Breast CancerBreast Cancer's Spread Is More Likely in Black Women, Study FindsAHA News: Menopause Before 40 Tied to Higher Stroke RiskHealthy Eating Lowers Pregnancy Complication RiskAortic Tears Are Even More Deadly for Women, Study FindsFDA Warns of Bogus Fertility Claims for Some SupplementsAHA News: Surprisingly Few Women May Have Good Heart Health Before PregnancyOsteoporosis Might Also Raise a Woman's Odds for Hearing LossModerate Use of Hair Relaxers Won't Raise Black Women's Cancer Risk: StudyMammography Rates Plummeted During Pandemic
LinksSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Wellness and Personal Development
Mental Disorders

Pandemic Delays in Screening Mean More Breast Cancer Deaths Ahead: Study

HealthDay News
by By Ernie Mundell and Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporters
Updated: Jul 14th 2021

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, July 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 pandemic could leave a grim legacy for women's health.

New research suggests that disruptions in breast cancer screening and treatment in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to an increase in deaths from the disease.

While mammography rates have accelerated in 2021, "facilities should prioritize screening women who missed their routine mammography exam during the pandemic" to help save lives, said study lead author Oguzhan Alagoz. He's professor in the department of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

As part of pandemic-related public health measures introduced in March 2020, mammography was among the many elective procedures Americans put on hold. As a result, mammograms fell by as much as 80%, the study noted.

Also, many patients already battling breast cancer saw their treatments delayed or faced reductions in planned or expected chemotherapy treatments.

Dr. Paul Baron, director of the breast cancer program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, saw all this firsthand.

"Hospitals and outpatient centers were unavailable due to limited personal protective equipment, and the need for social distancing among health care personnel and patients," said Baron, who wasn't involved in the new study.

"The result was a significant drop in numbers of women undergoing screening mammography, delays in diagnosis due to patients not seeking out their health care providers with new breast masses, and reduced use of chemotherapy for women with early-stage disease," Baron said.

To predict how these disruptions in the first six months of the pandemic will affect future breast cancer death numbers, the Wisconsin researchers turned to three independently developed breast cancer simulation models developed by the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network.

Data used in the models came from the Epic Health Research Network, which collected numbers from 60 health care organizations representing 10 million women from 306 hospitals across 28 states.

The Epic data showed that about 50% of women who were scheduled to undergo screening mammograms missed their appointments. In addition, 25% of women delayed evaluations for their breast cancer symptoms, resulting in delayed diagnosis and treatment.

The models suggest that the number of excess breast cancer deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on screening, diagnosis and chemotherapy treatment could reach 2,487 over the next decade.

That number includes 950 additional breast cancer deaths related to reduced screening, 1,314 associated with delayed diagnosis of symptomatic cases, and 151 due to reduced chemotherapy use in women with early-stage breast cancer, Alagoz and colleagues reported.

The predicted overall number of excess deaths would mean a 0.52% increase in breast cancer deaths between 2020 and 2030, according to the study published July 14 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Speaking in a journal news release, Alagoz said that many health centers have launched rapid "strategies to resume breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment services" over the past six months, and that could potentially reduce the overall impact on future breast cancer deaths.

For his part, Baron agreed that "the U.S. health care system's efforts to resume normal operations likely saved lives." Nevertheless, he added, "the impact of COVID-19 will be felt for many years to come."

Dr. Nina Vincoff is chief of breast imaging at Northwell Health in Lake Success, N.Y. Reading over the new study, she said it "demonstrates that even a short delay in screening mammography can cause an increase in breast cancer deaths."

Vincoff believes that, "in the future, when pandemics or other emergencies arise, health care facilities should aim to maintain access to preventative health visits. If routine screening must be delayed during emergency situations, patients should be encouraged to return to care as soon as possible."

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on breast cancer.

SOURCES: Paul L. Baron, MD, chief of breast surgery, director, Breast Cancer Program, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Nina S. Vincoff, MD, chief of breast imaging, Northwell Health, Lake Success, N.Y.; Journal of the National Cancer Institute, news release, July 14, 2021

328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203

powered by centersite dot net