Collateral damage from COVID-19 could be causing thousands of cancer deaths

Collateral damage from COVID-19 could be causing thousands of cancer deaths

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused collateral damage in the diagnosis and surgery of cancer patients. In this study carried out by scientists from the London Cancer Research Institute, the consequences of a delay of 3 months or 6 months in these diagnoses and surgeries and its impact measured in lives and years of life lost are analyzed.

The new models have revealed the extent of the impact that interruption in the cancer care and diagnosis pathway could have on the survival of cancer patients.

More than 10,000 lives

Many cancer patients may end up experiencing delays of several months in their cancer treatment in the context of the pandemic, including operations to remove tumors.

Thus, the delay of 3/6 months would have caused respectively 4,755 / 10,760 deaths and 92,214 / 208,275 years of life lost .

The study estimated that cancer surgery provides an average of 18.1 years of life per patient, of which on average 1 year are lost due to a delay of three months or 2.2 years are lost with a delay of six months. Considering the health care resource more generally, they compared this to hospital treatment for COVID-19, of which an average of 5.1 years of life per patient was currently obtained .

As study leader Clare Turnbull , Professor of Cancer Genomics at ICR, explains :

The Covid-19 crisis has put enormous pressure on the NHS at every stage of the cancer pathway, from diagnosis to surgery and other forms of treatment. Our study shows the impact that delayed cancer treatment will have on patients, with England and the United Kingdom more broadly set to potentially many thousands of attributable cancer deaths as a result of the pandemic.

Thousands of deaths from cancer, in addition to many others from various diseases, or even from lack of food, as Juan Ignacio Pérez Iglesias abounds in The Conversation :

It has been estimated that between 253,500 and 1,157,000 children under the age of five, and between 12,200 and 56,700 mothers in developing countries will die in the next six months as a result of the deterioration of health systems and health. chances of getting food.