Did Cancer Screening Rates Rebound to Pre-Pandemic Levels?
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Star et al. (Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2023) examined whether cancer screening prevalence in the United States during 2021 has returned to pre-pandemic levels using nationally representative data
Analysis of data from a cross-sectional US nationwide household survey
2021 National Health Interview Survey
USPSTF recommendations for age-eligible screening
Breast cancer: 50 to 74 years
Cervical cancer: 21 to 65 years
Prostate cancer: 55 to 69 years
Colorectal cancer: 50 to 75 years
Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) using logistic regression models
Past-year screening prevalence
Prevalence ratios in 2021 vs 2019
Between 2019 and 2021, past-year screening decreased for
Breast cancer: from 59.9% to 57.1% | aPR 0.94 (95% CI, 0.91 to 0.97)
Cervical cancer: from 45.3% to 39.0% | aPR 0.85 (95% CI, 0.82 to 0.89)
Prostate cancer: from 39.5% to 36.3% | aPR 0.9 (95% CI, 0.84 to 0.97)
Declines were most notable for non-Hispanic Asian persons
Colorectal cancer screening prevalence remained unchanged
An increase in past-year stool testing offset a decline in colonoscopy
Past year stool testing: from 7.0% to 10.3% | aPR 1.44 (95% CI, 1.31 to 1.58)
Colonoscopy: from 15.5% to 13.8% | aPR 0.88 (95% CI, 0.83 to 0.95)
The increase in stool testing was most pronounced in non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic populations and in persons with low socioeconomic status
Screening rates for breast, cervical and prostate cancers in 2021 remained lower than the rates in 2019, pre-pandemic
There was a large increase in stool testing, instead of colonoscopy, for colorectal cancer screening
The authors state
These findings reinforce the importance of strengthening return to screening campaigns for cancer prevention and control, and the major role physicians and other health care providers should play for the success of the campaigns
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