This Is The True Scale Of Cancer Left Undetected Due To Covid

Two separate studies have highlighted how cancer is going undetected – then being left untreated – during the coronavirus pandemic.

Patients with “red flag” cancer symptoms are not being referred by their GP for urgent investigation in six out of 10 cases, one study claims. Separate research suggests nearly 12,000 women could be unknowingly living with breast cancer, due to disruptions to the NHS screening programme.

The first study, conducted by the University of Exeter, University College London, and funded by Cancer Research UK, analysed records from nearly 49,000 patients who consulted their GP with one of the warning signs for cancer that should warrant referral under clinical guidelines.

They found that six out of 10 patients were not referred for cancer investigation within two weeks of the first visit. Of the 29,045 patients not referred, 1,047 developed cancer within a year (3.6%).

The “alarm” symptoms included blood in urine, a breast lump, problems swallowing, iron-deficiency anaemia, and postmenopausal or rectal bleeding.

The likelihood of a patient being referred within two weeks varied depending on which symptom they showed. The lowest referral rate was for problems swallowing, at just 17%, and the highest was for breast lump, at 68%.

But a lump is not the only symptom of breast cancer and each year, thousands of cases are detected via the NHS screening programme.

m-gucci via Getty Images/iStockphoto

In separate analysis, a charity has warned that almost 12,000 women could be living with undiagnosed breast cancer after missing out on screening and not being referred for tests due to the pandemic.

Breast Cancer Now estimates there has been a 50% rise in the number of women in the UK who have not had vital breast screening since services restarted last summer.

Overall, the charity estimates that almost 1.5 million fewer women had breast screening between March 2020 and May 2021 when compared with pre-pandemic levels.

Most Related Links :
Business News Governmental News Finance News

Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.

[charitable_donation_form campaign_id=57167]

Source link

Back to top button