Cancer Care in the Era of COVID-19 – Online Panel Discussion
Queen’s University Belfast has been playing a leading role in the fight against COVID-19, particularly in the cancer domain.
An opinion piece, just published in the European Journal of Cancer involving researchers at Queen’s, the University of Split, Croatia and King’s College London has highlighted that the response to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is significantly affecting the health and wellbeing of patients with cancer.
Backing up this assertion, Queen’s researchers, in collaboration with researchers from University College London and fellow colleagues in DATA-CAN, the UK’s Health Data Research Hub for Cancer, have just completed a major study which they have posted online, showing how diagnostic referrals and treatment appointments have dropped significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which they predict may lead to 18,000 excess deaths in patients with cancer.
Cancer is a common disease, with over 3.7 million new diagnoses in Europe each year and over 1.9 million deaths. The research highlighted how the repurposing of the health systems and implantation of social distancing measures has had a negative effect on patients with cancer. With urgent referrals dropping, surgical procedures being postponed and cancer specialists being redirected to COVID-19 specific care, there is a risk of a future cancer epidemic.
Cancer and COVID-19 Panel Discussion
In this panel discussion, Mr Maurice Macartney, Community Impact Officer, is joined by two leading cancer specialists from Queen’s, Professor Mark Lawler and Professor Joe O’Sullivan, and pioneering patient’s advocacy campaigner Mrs Margaret Grayson MBE to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on cancer care.