COVID-19 Pandemic Is Delaying The Diagnosing And Treatment Of Breast Cancer

The Covid-19 pandemic spread across the globe is postponing the timely treatment of other diseases including breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the major conditions causing death among women worldwide. It is curable, if detected at an early stage and got effective and timely treatment. In addition, breast cancer is of four types including ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, inflammatory breast cancer, and metastatic breast cancer.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 627,000 women have died from breast cancer, which is equal to approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women in 2018. Moreover, Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women and around 2.1 million women are likely to develop Breast cancer each year. In India, over 1,62,468 new breast cancer cases were diagnosed among women in 2018, which is equal to 14% of all cancers among women. As per the new WHO report, almost 1 in 29 females develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

The spread of coronavirus is delaying the diagnosis or treatment of disease due to the hope associated with the sooner availability of vaccines. The risk of getting affected by the coronavirus is keeping away people from getting timely treatment for other health conditions. The changing lifestyle, rapid urbanization, frequent fast-food habits, and increasing cases of obesity are accelerating the number of breast cancers.

Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the forceful closure of cancer centres and the spread of the virus has forced curable cancer patients to remain indoors. The pandemic has altered the priorities in healthcare, social, and economic sectors resulted in everything revolving around the Covid.

Uncertain travel restrictions were imposed on the people that have prevented needy from getting the proper medical treatment. The increased waiting time has converted the operable or curable breast cancers into inoperable. The common mistake to understand is that the non-communicable diseases (NCD) results in deaths in developing and developed countries compared to the corona death cases are much higher. Additionally, the deaths caused by corona are negligible compared to deaths from cancers. Moreover, India has 7.95 million total registered cases including 7.2 million recovered and 120k total deaths till 27th October 2020.

The solution to the new normal is that the treatment for cancer patients should begin while following the right Covid protocol. Covid tests should be done before providing treatment in order to protect the healthcare professionals and other working staff from complications along with the proper timing for surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. The crowding should be avoided at hospitals.

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