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Cancer patients diagnosed in pandemic less likely to survive

Patients diagnosed with cancer in 2020 had “significantly lower” survival rates in Scotland a year after having their cases confirmed compared with the previous year, a report has found.

The increase in deaths was an indirect result of the pandemic as coronavirus dissuaded people from getting check-ups or visiting physicians.

Many cancer screening programmes were also paused and infection control measures in healthcare settings caused delays in both diagnosis and treatment.

Andrew Elder, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said the government’s decision to pause screening programmes was “understandable in the extreme circumstances”, but added that the figures were “concerning”. He said: “Fewer and later presentations by patients who may have had more advanced disease clearly have had sometimes tragic consequences that are now being identified in the data.”

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Source: The Times, 31 May 2023


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