The world has been facing the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic for more than a year and more than 155 million people already have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University platform. In this scenario, it is important to monitor the diagnosis and treatment of other diseases, such as different types of tumors. Data from the United States indicates a decrease in the identification of new cancers, which could pose a public health challenge.
As a reflection of COVID-19, there are a large number of cancer diagnoses that are not made or treated by a number of factors, such as: patients who postpone their annual routine check-ups; People who did not go to the doctor, even in pain, for many reasons; Clinics and hospitals have suspended appointments, biopsies and treatments at the most dangerous moments of the epidemic.
According to a survey by ProPublica, cancer screening tests fell by as much as 94% during the first four months of last year in the United States. At Mount Sinai Hospital in New York alone, the number of mammograms decreased 96% over the same period. Starting in July 2020, the number of tests has begun to resume, but still at a percentage lower than the pre-pandemic percentage.
A delay in diagnosing cancer can be fatal
It is worth noting that during that period and until now, people did not stop developing cancer, but the diagnosis was stopped. In this scenario, the National Cancer Institute (NIH) expects approximately 10,000 excess deaths – the number of deaths higher than what was considered standard – in the next decade due to breast and colorectal cancer due to delays related to COVID- 19. This is because early diagnosis can be made. Critical to disease control.
Dr. Norman said it could take another year or two before the number of cancer deaths begins to increase, in part because treatment can extend a patient’s life for years after diagnosis – even when detection is delayed, depending on the tumor. Sharpless, director of the National Institutes of Health. The longer the pandemic lasted, Sharblos realized that “the greater its impact [negativo] In cancer treatments “
Cancer, the COVID-19 Pandemic and Brazil
In Brazil, the National Cancer Institute (Inca) warns that all protocols against COVID-19 must be complied with, but it also promotes the importance of continued treatment of tumors and monitoring of body signs, such as the appearance of a breast lump in women over 50.
In a technical note released this year, the Inca states that “tracking measures during a pandemic require careful analysis of the risks and benefits involved, taking into account the epidemiological scenario (incidence and mortality due to COVID-19) and the availability of beds.” In these cases, it is necessary to take into account the risks of delaying cancer screening, the risk of coronavirus contamination and the epidemiological situation of the place.
For this, Inca has designed three potential COVID-19 scenarios and which activities should be privileged. For example, in the case of a controlled epidemic, one of the guiding principles is “to conduct restricted screening in women in the target group who have never been screened or have not been screened for breast and cervical cancer for more than two or more. Three years in a row.”
To check the full Inca technical note, click Here.
Source: With the information: ProPublica
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