The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic led to reduced cancer screenings and delayed cancer surgeries. We used insurance claims data to understand how breast cancer incidence and treatment after diagnosis changed nationwide over the course of the pandemic.Using the Optum Research Database from January 2017 to March 2021, including approximately 19 million US adults with commercial health insurance, we identified new breast cancer diagnoses and first treatment after diagnosis. We compared breast cancer incidence and proportion of newly diagnosed patients receiving pre-operative systemic therapy pre-COVID, in the first 2 months of the COVID pandemic and in the later part of the COVID pandemic.Average monthly breast cancer incidence was 19.3 (95% CI 19.1-19.5) cases per 100,000 women and men pre-COVID, 11.6 (95% CI 10.8-12.4) per 100,000 in April-May 2020, and 19.7 (95% CI 19.3-20.1) per 100,000 in June 2020-February 2021. Use of pre-operative systemic therapy was 12.0% (11.7-12.4) pre-COVID, 37.7% (34.9-40.7) for patients diagnosed March-April 2020, and 14.8% (14.0-15.7) for patients diagnosed May 2020-January 2021. The changes in breast cancer incidence across the pandemic did not vary by demographic factors. Use of pre-operative systemic therapy across the pandemic varied by geographic region, but not by area socioeconomic deprivation or race/ethnicity.In this US-insured population, the dramatic changes in breast cancer incidence and the use of pre-operative systemic therapy experienced in the first 2 months of the pandemic did not persist, although a modest change in the initial management of breast cancer continued.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s10549-022-06634-z
View details for PubMedID 35624175