Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Delay to cancer care ups death risk



Delay to cancer care ups death risk

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Many proceedures have been postponed because of the pandemic. AFP

Delay to cancer care ups death risk

Delaying cancer treatment by just a month can put patients at a sharply greater risk of dying, according to research published on Wednesday, the latest to sound the alarm over the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on other health conditions.

Treatment delays happen in normal times, but the spread of Covid-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to healthcare services.

In a new study published in the “BMJ medical” journal, researchers in the UK and Canada found that delays in treatment – whether for surgery, radiotherapy, or other treatments such as chemotherapy – for seven types of cancers had a significant impact on patient mortality.

“There has never been a systematic attempt to look at all the evidence on what delays in different types of treatment mean for cancer patient outcomes,” said co-author Ajay Aggarwal, a clinical oncologist and Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“Because we know this is happening to cancer patients during the Covid-19 pandemic it is essential to understand the real impact.”

The study found even a one-month postponement could mean a patient had a six to 13 per cent higher risk of dying. The longer the wait for treatment, the higher the risk.

The authors described the findings, based on dozens of international studies published over the last two decades, as “sobering”.

The research suggests that “for the majority of the major cancers and treatments there is no ‘safe’ treatment delay”, Aggarwal said.

Researchers estimated that a delay in surgery of 12 weeks for all patients with breast cancer – during Covid-19 lockdowns and their aftermath, for example – would, over the course of a year, lead to 1,400 excess deaths in the UK, 6,100 in the US, 700 in Canada, and 500 in Australia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment