Cancer deaths set to soar amid coronavirus crisis

From the Article

CANCER deaths caused by the indirect effects of Covid-19 on the NHS will outstrip the number predicted to die from the virus, experts have warned.

The eventual figure will be far higher than the 20,000 projected UK fatalities caused by coronavirus, researchers said. Leading medics are conducting analysis to work out the exact impact of the UK's lockdown on cancer patients. They believe the findings will show an urgent need to rethink the current pandemic health policy, citing major disruptions to cancer services and care.

Richard Sullivan, a professor of cancer and global health at King's College London and director of its Institute of Cancer Policy, said: "The number of deaths due to the disruption of cancer services is likely to outweigh the number of deaths from the coronavirus itself over the next five years.

"The cessation and delay of cancer care will cause considerable avoidable suffering. Cancer screening services have stopped, which means we will miss our chance to catch many cancers when they are treatable and curable, such as cervical, bowel and breast.

"When we do restart normal service delivery after the lockdown is lifted, the backlog of cases will be a huge challenge to the healthcare system.

"We need an urgent exit strategy and an effective, integrated and intelligent approach to get the lockdown lifted in a controlled manner in order to get time-critical patients like those with cancer back into the system. We need to do this as fast as possible."

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