NEWS

New study examines the impact of COVID-19 on cancer deaths in England

A new study has been published that examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer deaths in England.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer deaths due to delays in diagnosis in England, UK: a national, population-based, modelling study investigates the impact of delays in diagnosis on cancer survival outcomes in four major tumour types—breast cancer, colorectal cancer, oesophageal cancer, and lung cancer.

The study found that measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as suspension of cancer screening, deferral of routine diagnostic work, and prioritisation of urgent symptomatic cases for diagnostic intervention, can be expected to lead to a substantial increase in the number of avoidable cancer deaths in England.

The authors state: ‘Urgent policy interventions are necessary, particularly the need to manage the backlog within routine diagnostic services to mitigate the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with cancer.’