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  • Author
    Parsa Asachi
  • PI

    Dr. Lucy Chow, Dr. Bo Li

  • Co-Author

    Parsa Asachi

  • Title

    Breast Imaging and the Pandemic: Evaluating the Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities

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  • Abstract

    Intro: Socioeconomic and racial disparities in breast cancer worsen health outcomes among marginalized groups, specifically lengthening delay to diagnosis and treatment as well as prevent access to high quality care. Since the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic began and lead to a drastic change in daily life and healthcare, a question remains on how it has impacted health outcomes in breast cancer patients. A few institutions have examined factors in patient care that were impacted by the pandemic, such as a decrease in overall breast cancer screening and biopsies at the height of the pandemic. In this study, we investigated how the pandemic has impacted the delays in care, prognoses of cancer, and evaluated the socioeconomic and racial disparities that have played a part in worsening outcomes.

    Methods: MagView was used to extract basic patient information from our two patient samples: 288 patients in the “pre-pandemic” sample who have received treatment between March 15 to August 15, 2019, and 197 patients in the “pandemic” sample who have received treatment between March 15 to August 15, 2020.Chart review was conducted on Epic to access remaining patient information and clinical care timepoints. The statistical test we will conduct for the data is a two-tailed paired t-test so that we can see any increase or decrease of the variables between the two samples.

    Results: A total of 93 patients out of 485 in the study were analyzed. The pre-pandemic group had a frequency of 7 patients for stage 0, 15 for stage 1, 7 for stage 1A, 2 for stage 2A, and 3 for stage 2B breast cancer. The pandemic group had a frequency of 6 patients in stage 0, 15 patients in stage 1, 6 patients in stage 1A, 1 patient in stage 1B, 3 patients in stage 2A, and 1 patient in stage 2B breast cancer. Time until treatment was described as “Treatment Delay” and measured by taking the difference of the date of initial presentation by the date of treatment. The pre-pandemic group had a slightly higher mean at 78.19 days versus 65 days for the pandemic group. The pre-pandemic group also seemed to have a higher spread in data, containing many more outliers in the 150+days range than the pandemic group.

    Conclusion: Although the rest of the data is pending, currently the data shows that there is not a significant difference between breast cancer stage frequency and treatment delay. With more data collected, we can better describe the impact of the pandemic on breast cancer patients as well as how specific socioeconomic variables lessen or improve breast cancer outcomes.

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