Has COVID-19 Affected Cancer Screening Programs? A Systematic Review

Cancer screening programs have been clearly interrupted since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This systematic review aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening, and provide recommendations for future actions that will mitigate the potential negative effects of anti-COVID-19 measures. The anticipated outcomes of the pandemic include delayed diagnosis, and marked increases in the numbers of avoidable cancer deaths. The findings suggest instituting measures at the health service level (including specialist and primary care) to identify and address system-wide cancer control, as well as support high-quality cancer care. They also highlight the importance of involving general practice in screening programs to reduce the burden on specialist services in the hospital system.

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