Cancer care during COVID-19, part 1: dramatic fall in screening and monitoring

  • Murray A; Kleinrock M.
  • IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science
  • 29 Apr 2020

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • According to a report by the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, US screening and monitoring tests for some cancers came to "a near standstill" in early April 2020 as a result of COVID-19-related health care disruptions.

Why this matters

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire US health care system, including cancer care, directly and indirectly.

Study design

  • Analysis of data from IQVIA’s medical claims database, which includes >205 million patients, >1.7 billion claims, and 3 billion service records obtained annually.
  • Funding: No external funding from industry or government.

Key results

  • During the week ending April 10 vs the weekly average for February 1-28, procedure rates fell by:
    • 90% for colonoscopies;
    • 87% for mammograms;
    • 83% for Pap smears;
    • 60% for PSA tests; and
    • 39% for CT scans for lung cancer.
  • Overall patient interactions with oncologists declined by 20% through April 3.
  • For patients with aggressive tumors or diagnoses at advanced stages, there was "little or no disruption" in oncologist visits in March compared with February.
  • For patients with skin or prostate cancer, visit rates declined by 20%-50% in March.

Limitations

  • Claims data often have limited clinical information.