Due to the corona virus, 5,000 cancer diagnoses have not been made in Belgium


The coronavirus affects all sectors: commercial, social and even the health sector itself …

At least 5,000 cancer cases have reportedly disappeared under the radar since the start of the coronavirus epidemic in Belgium, which forced the reorganization of the country’s health services from March, the Foundation Against Cancer reports Friday. The trend now is to catch up, with 14% fewer diagnoses up to mid-September compared to last year, compared to 44% for April, during the first wave.

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The lack of a diagnosis does not mean that there are fewer cases of cancer, but that the diagnosis is made later and treatment is started at a later stage of the disease. This leads to a risk of more aggressive treatment, not to mention the less favorable prognosis. That is why the Cancer Foundation reminds you to consult a doctor if alarms persist. “The fear of contracting the virus has led to the risk of not being screened and / or not receiving treatment, which, depending on the type of cancer, can sometimes have very serious consequences,” the organization warns. .

Older people most affected

The decline in the number of diagnoses continues to be greater (18%) for the over-80s. It is about 12% under 65 to 79 and about 16% under 50 to 64. For the age groups under 50 the difference is smaller: for 35 to 49 year olds it is a decrease of 9% and for 20-34 -year-olds 5%. The impact is greatest for skin cancer, with a decrease of more than 20% in diagnoses, followed by bladder and kidney cancers, in similar proportions. This is 19% for head and neck cancer and 15% for prostate cancer. The decrease is less pronounced for other more aggressive cancers, especially lung cancer (10%), pancreatic cancer (9%) and esophageal cancer (9%). Breast cancer shows a smaller decrease of 14% for all ages and 20% for the target population for screening (50-69 years).

By Belga

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