One in five cancer patients in Spain undiagnosed due to pandemic.
Oncologists fear the arrival of more advanced tumors in the health system, with fewer therapeutic options and greater commitment to survival.
THE Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) today (Monday, February 1) recommended these people not to be afraid to attend consultations.
The president of SEOM, Dr. Álvaro Rodríguez-Lescure, assured that “it is essential to guarantee the continuity of care, diagnosis, and treatment of serious non-Covid diseases, such as cancer, to avoid excess mortality from these diseases “.
The concerning figure was revealed during an online presentation of the report ‘Cancer figures in Spain 2021’ published by the SEOM, in collaboration with the Spanish Network of Cancer Registries (Redecan), using data from Global Cancer Observatory (CGO), International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and Globocan-2020.
Dr Rodríguez-Lescure stated that around 20 per cent of people with cancer are not diagnosed due to the pandemic.
“Due to Covid-19, the patients who are within the healthcare circuit have undergone a readjustment to an exceptional situation, and at the Oncology Services we have prioritised telephone assistance and have adjusted treatments to minimise risks”.
“The problem lies in those future patients who are out of the system and who are in limbo because the delays in cancer diagnoses have a very negative impact on the results and on the options and opportunities we have for treatments to affect the survival and palliation “.
For this reason, Dr Rodríguez-Lescure stressed that with a lower diagnosis rate, “we are concerned the tumors will arrive in more advanced stages”.
SEOM said there is a vital need to allocate the necessary resources, both human and technical, technological and diagnostic, to avoid delays in new cases of cancer and loss of opportunity for cure in cancer patients.
Based on the report’s data, it is forecasted there will be 276,239 new cases (158,867 new in men and 117,372 in women) in 2021.
“We know that the number of new cancer cases will increase in the coming years. To the continuous increase in new cases that we have verified, we must add the delay of 21 per cent of new undiagnosed cases during the first wave of the pandemic,” agreed Dr. Jaume Galcerán of Redecan.
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