HomeOncologyOncology NewsCOVID-19 causes one out of every 7 cancer surgeries to be postponed

COVID-19 causes one out of every 7 cancer surgeries to be postponed

The global impact of delays in cancer treatment because of the pandemic was highlighted in the University of Birmingham-led international research.

Analysis of data from 61 countries for 15 common cancer operations from 466 hospitals showed that 1 in 7 procedures was postponed under full lockdowns by a median of 5.3 months from diagnosis, potentially resulting in more cancer deaths.

UK data came from 6160 patients across 113 centers while US data covered 1219 patients across 21 centers.

Last month, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPS) think tank and the CF health consultancy estimated that it could take over a decade to clear England’s COVID cancer treatment backlog.


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“Cancer surgery programs worldwide were fragile to lockdowns,” the authors of the brand new study wrote in The Lancet Oncology.

Frail patients had advanced cancer while people awaiting operations in lower-middle-income countries were less likely to have their operations.

Co-lead author, Mr. James Glasbey, University of Birmingham, said in a statement: “Whilst lockdowns are critical to saving lives and lowering the unfold of the virus, making certain capability for protected elective cancer surgery must be a part of each nation’s plan to ensure continued health throughout the entire population.”

Co-lead Author Mr. Aneel Bhangu, University of Birmingham, highlighted lockdowns in decrease earnings international locations with current cancer capability issues. “Patients in these environments were at highest threat of cancellation, regardless of being youthful and having fewer co-morbidities,” he mentioned.

“While we solely adopted patients that underwent a delay for a brief period, proof from the different analysis indicate that these patients could also be at higher risk of recurrence. To assist mitigate in opposition to this, surgeons and cancer doctors should consider closer follow-up for patients who were subject to delays before surgery.”

Cancer types in the study included colorectal, oesophageal, gastric, head and neck, thoracic, liver, pancreatic, prostate, bladder, renal, gynecological, breast, soft-tissue sarcoma, bony sarcoma, and intracranial malignancies.

The authors wrote: “This study demonstrates the necessity for system strengthening in elective surgery throughout all settings to mitigate in opposition to impending COVID-19 lockdowns and future pandemics. This could embody each world reorganization to offer protected COVID-19-free elective surgical pathways (and staffing) that sustainably permit the protected surgical procedure to proceed, and improved surge capability for acute care throughout public health emergencies.”

The study was part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded COVIDSurg collaborative.

Professor Lucy Chappell, NIHR CEO, and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We’re pleased with how our Global Health Research Units and Groups responded swiftly and tailored to deal with the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. These findings will assist construct the proof base for a way surgical companies can ‘construct again higher’ and, working with the World Health Organisation and nationwide coordinating our bodies together with the Royal College of Surgeons, develop guidance for global surgery.”

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