Usher Institute

Better monitoring of breast cancer screening vital for improved uptake of services

Findings suggest access to breast screening services should be monitored to determine if changes are needed to encourage greater uptake, particularly among disadvantaged groups.

Women undergoing a breast screening service with professional staff member present
Breast screening service

A study conducted by researchers from the Usher Institute, led by Jonine Figueroa, formerly of the Usher Institute and now with National Cancer Institute, has revealed significant declines in breast cancer screening participation during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. These declines varied among different countries and healthcare settings. The findings, published in eLife, highlight the importance of continuous monitoring of access to breast cancer screening services to determine whether improvements are necessary, especially for disadvantaged groups.

The study, which analysed data from 13 countries, highlights reductions in screening volume and uptake rates, with notable disparities between population-based and opportunistic screening programs. It emphasises the need for health systems to track these metrics and implement strategies to encourage higher participation, particularly among underserved populations.

Further information

Access the full paper published in eLife

The study is also due to be included in eLife’s Special Issue on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer prevention, control, care and survivorship.