Pandemic will deal ‘catastrophic’ blow to cancer care in Europe, says WHO.
THE World Health Organisation has warned of the potentially devastating impact on cancer care across Europe as health systems collapse under the strain of Covid, cutting survival chances for hundreds of thousands.
“The impact of the pandemic on cancer in the region is nothing short of catastrophic,” Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said in a statement.
Officials said today, World Cancer Day 2021, that they anticipate higher fatality rates from cancer, which accounts for around 2.2 million deaths each year, because less cases are being diagnosed and many treatments for existing conditions have been postponed.
As a result in the UK, WHO expects that deaths over the next five years from colorectal cancer will increase 15 per cent, and those from breast cancer nine per cent.
In the first round of Covid restrictions introduced imposed almost a year ago, officials said the number of cancers diagnosed in the Netherlands and Belgium dropped between 30 and 40 per cent.
Some countries had shortages of cancer drugs, the WHO noted.
The health organisation also revealed today, Thursday, February 4, that breast cancer has overtaken lung cancer, and is now the world’s most commonly diagnosed cancer.
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