A new analysis estimates that at least 6,270 additional deaths could occur in England over the next 12 months in patients with new cancer diagnoses—a 20% increase—as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.
This number could rise to an estimated 17,915 additional deaths if all people who currently have cancer are considered.
The authors examined real-time, weekly hospital data from 8 hospitals in England and Northern Ireland. They found that in that, compared to pre-covid levels, there was a 76% decrease in urgent referrals from GPs of people with suspected cancers and a 60% reduction in chemotherapy appointments.
They said that these large declines might be due to workforce capacity or resources being redirected to care for patients with covid-19 and the desire of clinicians and patients to minimize the risks of infection.
They also found that in England, the proportion of patients with incident cancer with ≥1 comorbidity was 65.2%. The number of comorbidities was strongly associated with cancer mortality risk.