In The UK, The COVID-19 Pandemic Could Claim Thousands Of Lives Of Cancer Patients

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In The UK, The COVID-19 Pandemic Could Claim Thousands Of Lives Of Cancer Patients
In The UK, The COVID-19 Pandemic Could Claim Thousands Of Lives Of Cancer Patients
Video: In The UK, The COVID-19 Pandemic Could Claim Thousands Of Lives Of Cancer Patients
Video: UK cancer patients missing treatment due to COVID-19 pandemic 2023, February
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In the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic could claim thousands of lives of cancer patients

The Institute of Cancer Research in the UK has warned that the suspension of treatment and surgery will lead to an increase in the number of incurable forms of cancer.

In the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic could claim thousands of lives of cancer patients
In the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic could claim thousands of lives of cancer patients

Photo: CC0 Public Domain

Scientists analyzed data from the Public Health England agency to understand how delaying surgery affects the survival of patients with various types of cancer over five years. The sample included more than 94 thousand case histories of patients with various types of cancer who underwent surgery. Using the method of computer modeling, the scientists found that in the case of a three-month delay in surgery, 4,755 more patients could die than usual.

Clare Turnbull, Institute professor and consultant at the Royal Marsden Cancer Clinic, said delayed surgery could be critical for some cancers. It won't matter much for people with prostate cancer, she said, while for patients with bowel or bladder cancer, delaying surgery is deadly.

“If these operations are postponed for three months, 10-15% of patients will never recover. After six months of delay, the number of incurable cases will increase to 25-30%,”the professor said. Trenbull urged health authorities to look for ways to restore diagnosis and surgery to cancer hospitals, giving priority to treating cancers in which there is no way to delay surgery.

In March, England's health officials said all cancer hospitals should continue to perform surgeries, even while under quarantine. However, many clinics have postponed operations as they were forced to turn operating rooms into intensive care units for patients with COVID-19. Many patients refused planned hospitalization for fear of becoming infected.

Note that a similar situation has developed in Russia: the majority of cancer centers are forced to postpone operations indefinitely due to quarantine measures. In mid-April, the director of the N.N. NN Petrova Alexey Belyaev said at a press conference that now the center carries out operations only in those cases when a delay in surgical intervention could become "fatal." “We have excluded a preventive referral to an outpatient clinic, rehabilitation, dispensary observation of our patients, palliative treatment,” Belyaev said.

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