Study finds pandemic-related drop in cancer screenings

COVID-19 has had a severe impact on health screenings in the U.S., according to findings from a recent American Cancer Society study.The study is the first of its kind and confirms that breast, cervical and colon cancer screenings dropped during the pandemic with millions of screenings missing in 2020.| LINK: Read the study”It’s disheartening because you know what the potential impact is,” said Dr. Shana Ntiri, director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Baltimore City Cancer Program, which provides free screenings to those in need.Ntiri said the pandemic’s initial impact on cancer screenings was drastic with the study finding a plunge of 80%.”The pandemic also highlighted some very important disparities in terms of cancer, particularly with racial and ethnic minorities, thinking about African Americans, who for a long time have carried the heaviest cancer burden in our country and in our state,” Ntiri said.According to the research, Hispanic and lower-income people experienced sharper drops in screenings. Asian and Pacific Islander women saw the worst of it with a 27% dip in past-year breast cancer screening.Ntiri said she has seen some people return for screenings, but there’s still work to do to get back to pre-pandemic rates. She’s now stressing the need to improve access and for everyone to get back on track.”We know how to treat these cancers. I think, for many, still, there’s a fear that a diagnosis of cancer equates death, and that’s not necessarily true. But it’s important that people get in and get screened so that we can take care of them,” Ntiri said.

COVID-19 has had a severe impact on health screenings in the U.S., according to findings from a recent American Cancer Society study.

The study is the first of its kind and confirms that breast, cervical and colon cancer screenings dropped during the pandemic with millions of screenings missing in 2020.

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| LINK: Read the study

“It’s disheartening because you know what the potential impact is,” said Dr. Shana Ntiri, director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Baltimore City Cancer Program, which provides free screenings to those in need.

Ntiri said the pandemic’s initial impact on cancer screenings was drastic with the study finding a plunge of 80%.

“The pandemic also highlighted some very important disparities in terms of cancer, particularly with racial and ethnic minorities, thinking about African Americans, who for a long time have carried the heaviest cancer burden in our country and in our state,” Ntiri said.

According to the research, Hispanic and lower-income people experienced sharper drops in screenings. Asian and Pacific Islander women saw the worst of it with a 27% dip in past-year breast cancer screening.

“It’s important that people get in and get screened so that we can take care of them.”

Ntiri said she has seen some people return for screenings, but there’s still work to do to get back to pre-pandemic rates. She’s now stressing the need to improve access and for everyone to get back on track.

“We know how to treat these cancers. I think, for many, still, there’s a fear that a diagnosis of cancer equates death, and that’s not necessarily true. But it’s important that people get in and get screened so that we can take care of them,” Ntiri said.

Contributed by local news sources

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