Report projects 2,487 more breast cancer deaths due to pandemic
Pandemic-related disruptions in breast cancer screenings and treatment could lead to an increase in deaths from this disease - a projected 2,487 additional deaths in the United States by 2030, according to research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
In the early months of the pandemic, hospitals and other health-care facilities delayed or canceled elective procedures, including mammograms. As a result, the number of screening and diagnostic mammograms given to U.S. women fell by as much as 80%, the researchers found. In addition, many women with early stage breast cancer experienced delayed or reduced treatments, including chemotherapy.
The researchers predicted the longer term effect of these disruptions during the first six months of the pandemic by analyzing data representing 10 million women nationwide. Aside from skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting American women, with 1 in 8 of them developing breast cancer at some point in their life. Guidelines suggest that women start getting an annual mammogram in their early 40s, switching to a screening every two years at age 55.
Breast cancer is also a leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer. Before the pandemic, the death rate for breast cancer in the United States had been declining, generally attributed to increased screening and better treatments. The new research urges women who had screenings or treatment delayed in 2020 to not delay further, noting that the projected number of additional deaths by 2030 could be two to four times greater if disruptions persist in health care.
Stories that may interest you
The United States' known death toll from COVID-19 will surpass the number of dead from the Spanish Flu within the next day or two, according to the side-by-side numbers — though a direct comparison between the raw numbers doesn’t give the whole story, medical experts and statisticians...
Anthony S. Fauci, the White House's chief coronavirus medical adviser, said data about booster shots for those who had received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines could be a few weeks away from being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, days after an FDA panel...
Flames have reached a grove of sequoia trees in California as firefighters battled to keep fire from driving further into another grove, where the base of the world’s largest tree has been wrapped in protective foil
The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and trying to block others from crossing the border from Mexico