Breast Cancer Disparities and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Curr Breast Cancer Rep. 2022;14(4):192-198. doi: 10.1007/s12609-022-00458-y. Epub 2022 Aug 30.


Purpose of review: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented challenges on breast cancer patients and health care providers. The impact of the pandemic on preexisting breast cancer disparities remains unknown but is projected to have adverse outcomes.

Recent findings: Early work has demonstrated that pandemic-related temporary suspensions in breast cancer screening, interruption of clinical trials, and treatment delays have an adverse impact on breast cancer patient outcomes and may worsen disparities.

Summary: In this review, we highlight existing knowledge regarding breast cancer disparities and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Strategies for mitigating disparities moving forward include targeted research evaluating race-specific outcomes, targeted education for providers regarding breast health disparities, improved access to telehealth, maintenance of patient navigation programs, and patient education regarding the safety and necessity of enrollment in clinical trials.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Breast cancer disparities; COVID-19 pandemic; Health disparities; Social determinants of health.

Publication types

  • Review