HealthDay News — From 2018 to 2020, there were decreases in the prevalence of screening for breast cancer (BC) and cervical cancer (CC), while the increase in stool testing offset the decrease in colonoscopy for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, according to a study published online in JAMA Network Open.

Stacey A. Fedewa, PhD, from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues examined changes in BC, CC, and CRC screening prevalence using data from the population-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Data were included for respondents from the 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 BRFSS surveys who were eligible for BC, CC, and CRC screening (479,248; 301,453; and 854,210 individuals, respectively).

The researchers found that after 4 years of nearly steady prevalence from 2014 to 2018, there was a 6% decrease in past-year BC screening between 2018 and 2020 (from 61.6% to 57.8%) and an 11% decrease in CC screening (from 58.3% to 51.9%). Greater decreases were seen in those with lower educational attainment and in Hispanic persons. The prevalence of CRC screening remained steady, with a 7% increase in past-year stool testing offsetting a 16% decrease in colonoscopy from 2018 to 2020.

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“What these decreases in recent BC and CC screening mean for immediate and long-term outcomes is not yet known but will be important to monitor, especially among people with lower socioeconomic status,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to AstraZeneca; a second author served on the Flatiron Health Equity Advisory Board.

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