Browsing: COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of cancer care and research- from introducing new risks for cancer patients to disrupting the delivery of cancer treatment and the continuity of cancer research, a review of scientific literature shows. The report, by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, USA, and other institutions, suggests that while COVID-19 has complicated the treatment of cancer patients, it has also spurred creative solutions to challenges in clinical care, and research into the new disease is benefiting from insights gained over years of cancer research. While much remains to be learned about the intersection of cancer and COVID-19,…

Cancer Council has issued a call for Australians to act now to get up to date with their bowel, breast and cervical screening following data that shows fewer Australians are screening in 2020 than previous years. The report, Cancer Screening and COVID-19 in Australia, released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, has shown that between January to June 2020 there was 144,982 fewer mammograms and 443,935 fewer cervical screening tests have been completed, and from January to July 144,379 fewer bowel screening tests returned, compared with previous years.* Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said, “The Australian Government…

Women aged 50 to 74 in NSW are being encouraged to make their health a priority this Breast Cancer Awareness Month and book a free life-saving mammogram. Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow says early detection is key to giving women the best chance of survival. Finding breast cancer early reduces the likelihood of needing invasive treatment, such as mastectomy or chemotherapy. “Breast screens can detect cancer as small as a grain of rice. Our research shows that women who receive a diagnosis as a result of regular breast screening are less likely…

Simone Pettigrew, George Institute for Global Health Smokers are worried. A respiratory disease is running rampant across the globe and people with unhealthy lifestyle habits appear to be especially vulnerable. We know smokers hospitalised with COVID-19 are more likely to become severely unwell and die than non-smokers with the disease. At any point in time, most smokers want to quit. But COVID-19 provides the impetus to do it sooner rather than later. In our new study, we surveyed 1,204 adult smokers across Australia and the United Kingdom. We found the proportion intending to quit within the next two weeks almost…

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries paused their breast cancer screening programmes. A new study, presented at the 12th European Breast Cancer Conference, suggests that the disruption to screening could result in an increase in the proportion of women who die of breast cancer. However, the study also suggests that this risk can be lowered, for example by making sure all women who would have been screened during the pandemic do not miss out, even if they are now older than the upper age limit for screening. Two further studies, also presented at the conference, show how the COVID-19 pandemic affected…

Cancer Council and the Australian Government are encouraging doctors to talk to their patients about bowel, cervical and breast screening, as a new campaign launches urging Australians to tick screening of their to-do list. The national campaign Cancer Screening Saves Lives launched this week to help combat the impact of COVID 19 on the number of Australians participating in national cancer screening programs and visiting their GPs for regular health checks. The campaign is funded as a $2.2 million Commonwealth Government initiative. Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO Cancer Council Australia explained GPs and health professionals play an important role in alleviating…

Beyond the tragic surges in hospitalizations and deaths, the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted healthcare for people with a wide range of medical conditions – including cancer. For women recovering after breast cancer treatment, COVID-19-related interruptions in rehabilitation care led to emotional distress and other effects on health and well-being, reports a study in the October issue of Rehabilitation Oncology, official journal of the APTA Oncology, an Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association. “Increased distress is one potential negative effect arising from reducing or eliminating rehabilitation services, effects known to cause their own adverse health effects,” according to…

Christian van Nieuwerburgh, University of East London The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world has prompted job losses and business closures, and an increase in stress and anxiety as lockdowns separate people from their friends and families. It’s become clear that we are struggling to maintain our mental health as the world changes around us, and the stability of incomes and social lives evaporate. The negative effects on our collective mental health are likely to be exacerbated, given indications that many parts of the world face a second spike in infections, and potentially further lockdowns. At times like this it’s important…

Delays and cancellation of cancer treatments and other safety measures undertaken to minimise the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) have generated a huge backlog in oncology care and research. The threat of delayed diagnoses looms while oncology professionals face burnout, according to new studies discussed at the ESMO Virtual Congress 2020. But is only COVID-19 to blame?   “Whether the risk for dark statistics is real or not will only become evident in the future when more robust results from real-world studies and registries are available,” said Dr Stefan Zimmermann, ESMO Press Officer, at the congress opening press conference.…

Higher viral loads are associated with a greater risk of death among cancer and non-cancer patients hospitalised with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), researchers report in the journal Cancer Cell. Among hospitalised COVID-19 patients, those with haematologic malignancies who had recently been treated for cancer had the highest levels of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19. “As a community, we’ve only begun to understand the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 viral load and outcomes,” says senior study author Michael Satlin, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine and an assistant attending physician…

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