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

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said