As countries mark World Cancer Day, Discovery Health has expressed shock at the drop of cancer screening as a result of COVID-19.
It estimates a 24% drop in breast cancer screening and a 25% drop in cervical cancer screening in 2020.
It also recorded an 18% overall decrease in oncology registrations between June 2019 and June 2020.
Cancer is preventable & treatable.
— United Nations (@UN) February 4, 2022
This means that fewer people were diagnosed with cancer.
This 18% figure may be misleading and may reflect the reduction in screening checks, meaning more people are walking around with undiagnosed cancer.
Chief Operations Officer at the Breast Health Foundation Louise Turner says, “Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. In fact, in South Africa, the prevalence is high, with 1 in 28 women at risk of breast cancer. We saw women presenting with severe and advanced breast cancers in 2021, due to a lack of cancer screening in 2020. All in all, early detection saves lives.”