By Tara Rippin •
Published: 04 Feb 2021 • 12:34
Pandemic will deal ‘catastrophic’ blow to cancer care in Europe, says WHO.
THE World Health Organisation has warned of the potentially devastating impact on cancer care across Europe as health systems collapse under the strain of Covid, cutting survival chances for hundreds of thousands.
“The impact of the pandemic on cancer in the region is nothing short of catastrophic,” Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said in a statement.
Officials said today, World Cancer Day 2021, that they anticipate higher fatality rates from cancer, which accounts for around 2.2 million deaths each year, because less cases are being diagnosed and many treatments for existing conditions have been postponed.
As a result in the UK, WHO expects that deaths over the next five years from colorectal cancer will increase 15 per cent, and those from breast cancer nine per cent.
In the first round of Covid restrictions introduced imposed almost a year ago, officials said the number of cancers diagnosed in the Netherlands and Belgium dropped between 30 and 40 per cent.
Some countries had shortages of cancer drugs, the WHO noted.
The health organisation also revealed today, Thursday, February 4, that breast cancer has overtaken lung cancer, and is now the world’s most commonly diagnosed cancer.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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