Lockdown of Breast Cancer Screening for COVID-19: Possible Scenario

Gianluca Vanni, Marco Pellicciaro, Marco Materazzo, Valentina Bruno, Chiara Oldani, Chiara Adriana Pistolese, Chiara Buonomo, Jonathan Caspi, Paola Gualtieri, Agostino Chiaravalloti, Leonardo Palombi, Emilio Piccione, Oreste Claudio Buonomo

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BACKGROUND/AIM: Coronavirus disease is spreading worldwide. Due to fast transmission and high fatality rate drastic emergency restrictions were issued. During the lockdown, only urgent medical services are guaranteed. All non-urgent services, as breast cancer (BC) screening, are temporarily suspended. The potential of breast cancer screening programs in increasing the survival rate and decreasing the mortality rate has been widely confirmed. Suspension could lead to worse outcomes for breast cancer patients. Our study aimed to analyse the data and provide estimates regarding the temporary BC screening suspension.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data regarding breast cancer and respective screening programs were achieved through literature research and analysis.

RESULTS: Considering three different scenarios with respect to the lockdown's impact on breast cancer screening, we estimate that approximately 10,000 patients could have a missed diagnosis during these 3 months. Considering a 6-month period, as suggested by the Imperial college model, the number of patients who will not receive a diagnosis will rise to 16,000.

CONCLUSION: Breast cancer screening should be resumed as soon as possible in order to avoid further breast cancer missed diagnosis and reduce the impact of delayed diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3047-3053
Number of pages7
JournalIn vivo (Athens, Greece)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 3 2020


  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity
  • Breast Neoplasms/complications
  • Coronavirus Infections/complications
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography
  • Mass Screening/trends
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral/complications


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