UK cancer deaths could increase 20% due to COVID-19 pandemic

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A new report claims cancer deaths could increase by 20% this year as people fail to attend crucial checkups and operations due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Researches at University College London say up to 18,000 people could die because they are too worried to attend key medical services if they believe they might have cancer. Usage of Accident and Emergency has fallen by 50% compared to this point last year, showing people are either concerned about being a burden on the NHS or of contracting coronavirus.

Research from the NHS also shows over 50% of the public who are ill will think twice before using medical resources, and one in ten wouldn’t even see a GP if a new mole or lump appeared because they are so worried about COVID-19. The government and the NHS are now urging people to use services as normal if they are worried about cancer symptoms or any other illness. Professor Peter Johnson, the NHS clinical director for cancer, said: “My message is clear: people should seek help as they always would.”

The UCL research looked at data from 3.5million patients and the impact of the outbreak on cancer survival. It estimates that at least 6,270 extra deaths in newly diagnosed patients will occur over the next year due to late pick-up, delayed treatment, and coronavirus infections.

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