Increasing number of deaths due to prostate cancer reported in recent year, experts believe it’s due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Because of this, there will be an increase in mortality caused by the disease, and life expectancy will decrease “for many years to come,” according to the warning issued by Prostate Cancer UK.
The research was conducted by a charitable organization at a time when specialists are sounding the alarm that the backlog caused by Covid is becoming “irreversibly worse” and that patients are facing record wait times for therapies that could save their lives. Researchers looked at the medical histories of 120,000 patients both before and after the pandemic began.
When compared to the levels seen prior to the pandemic, the analysis revealed a 3% rise in the number of men being diagnosed with late-stage illness. In addition, it was discovered that a lower percentage of males with advanced cancer had received the required treatment. The percentage dropped from 47 percent to 38 percent.
In addition, the study, which was presented in Paris to the European Society for Medical Oncology, found that during the pandemic there was a 4% decrease in the number of younger men (men aged 45 to 74) who were diagnosed with the disease, while the number of men diagnosed in emergency departments increased.
It was also discovered that during the first year of lockdown, which occurred between April and December 2020, there was a 19 percent increase in the number of men with prostate cancer dying of other causes, such as heart disease or dementia, when compared with the levels that existed before the pandemic. This was equivalent to 3,700 additional deaths.
“This data illustrates how crucial it is to do more to improve knowledge of prostate cancer, particularly among younger men,” said Chiara De Biase of Prostate Cancer UK. “This data is highly concerning and highlights how vital it is that more be done to raise awareness of prostate cancer.”
“At least 14,000 fewer males were diagnosed during the epidemic,” and “we now know that, unless things change, we’re facing the disturbing prospect of poorer health outcomes for men,” according to the article.
The loss of its champion, former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull, who passed away a month ago served as a timely reminder of the need of accurate diagnosis.
Because of his dogged efforts to promote awareness, 2018 saw a record number of male patients diagnosed.
Ms. De Biase continued by saying, “This data is particularly troubling because men who are treated for stage 1 and 2 prostate cancer have a nearly 100 percent five-year survival rate, whereas those who are treated at stage 4 have a survival rate of roughly 50 percent.” The likelihood of surviving an emergency department diagnosis is lower.
Waiting times to begin therapy for cancer patients of all types are getting longer. In July, only 61.1% of the urgent referrals were treated within the allotted 62 days after the referral.
“These frighteningly long waits are yet more proof that the Covid-induced cancer backlog is spiraling out of hand,” warned oncologist Professor Pat Price of the #CatchUp With Cancer Campaign.
She went on to say, “We do not have sufficient frontline workers, machinery, or information technology.” We are aware that a decrease in survival rate occurs for every four-week delay. We have an immediate need for a completely fresh strategy from the next Health Secretary.”
A spokesperson for the National Health Service (NHS) stated that “NHS cancer teams are working hard to see and treat record numbers of patients.”
“We continue to encourage men who are most at risk of prostate cancer, including black men, those over the age of 50, or those with a family history, to speak with their primary care physician about obtaining a PSA test if they are worried about their prostate health,”