Cancer alliance claims diagnostic, treatment delays due to COVID-19 could cause thousands to die prematurely

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May 24, 2022

Cancer Action Now, an alliance of 28 healthcare organizations, claims there are signs that the cancer death rate is accelerating due to delays in cancer screening, treatment and surgeries over the last two years. Its goal is to urge provincial governments to make cancer a priority. The organization says:

  • The effects of the pandemic on people with cancer will last at least a decade;
  • Pandemic-related declines in diagnosis and treatment could result in at least 21,247 more cancer deaths than predicted between 2020-2030; and
  • Each four-week delay in cancer surgery can increase the rate of mortality by 6% to 8%.

Cancer Action Now says research shows governments need to increase cancer screening and treatment capacity by at least 10% over pre-pandemic levels in each province to address all backlogs.

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