More than a year since the new coronavirus crisis began, its impact on cancer care has been stark, with “50 per cent of governments (having) cancer services partially or completely disrupted because of the pandemic”, said Dr André Ilbawi, from WHO’s Department of Noncommunicable Diseases.
“Delays in diagnosis are common. Interruptions in therapy or abandonment have increased significantly,” he continued, adding that this would likely have an impact in the total number of cancer deaths in coming years.
Pressure to deliver
“Healthcare professionals have been under great stress to deliver services and there are significant reductions in research and clinical trial enrolment. To state it simply, the consequences of the pandemic on cancer control efforts have been profound.”
An unspecified number of countries “of all income levels” had been affected, the WHO medic continued, although some wealthier nations had managed to counter the effects of the pandemic, including the