Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on breast and cervical cancer screening in Denmark: A register-based study
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Denmark was one of the few countries where it was politically decided to continue cancer screening during the COVID-19 pandemic. We assessed the actual population uptake of mammography and cervical screening during this period.
The first COVID-19 lockdown in Denmark was announced on 11 March 2020. To investigate possible changes in cancer screening activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we analysed data from the beginning of 2017 until the end of 2021. A time series analysis was carried out to discover possible trends and outliers in the screening activities in the period 2017–2021. Data on mammography screening and cervical screening were retrieved from governmental pandemic-specific monitoring of health care activities.
A brief drop was seen in screening activity right after the first COVID-19 lockdown, but the activity quickly returned to its previous level. A short-term deficit of 43% [CI –49 to –37] was found for mammography screening. A short-term deficit of 62% [CI –65 to –58] was found for cervical screening. Furthermore, a slight, statistically significant downward trend in cervical screening from 2018 to 2021 was probably unrelated to the pandemic. Other changes, for example, a marked drop in mammography screening towards the end of 2021, also seem unrelated to the pandemic.
Denmark continued cancer screening during the pandemic, but following the first lockdown a temporary drop was seen in breast and cervical screening activity.
|Number of pages
|Published - 2023