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Strong Rebound in Mammography Volume Noted by July 2020

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 -- Screening and diagnostic mammography volumes decreased in April 2020 compared with April 2019 prepandemic levels but mainly rebounded by July 2020 compared with July 2019, according to a study published online March 29 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Brian L. Sprague, Ph.D., from the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine in Burlington, and colleagues compared monthly screening and diagnostic mammography volumes before and after the pandemic using data on 461,083 screening mammograms and 112,207 diagnostic mammograms conducted during January 2019 through July 2020 at 62 radiology facilities.

The researchers found that in April 2020, screening and diagnostic mammography volumes were 1.1 and 21.4 percent of April 2019 prepandemic volumes, respectively. By July 2020, the volumes had rebounded to 89.7 and 101.6 percent of July 2019 prepandemic volumes, respectively. Through July 2020, the year-to-date cumulative volume of screening and diagnostic mammograms was 66.2 and 79.9 percent, respectively, of the year-to-date volume through July 2019. The rebound in screening mammography was similar across age groups and by breast cancer family history. In July 2020, monthly screening mammography volume reached 96.7, 92.9, 72.7, and 51.3 percent of July 2019 prepandemic volumes for Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian women, respectively.

"This national snapshot is important to help us focus research, outreach, and intervention to close gaps that were perhaps created or made worse by the pandemic," Sprague said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to GE Healthcare.

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