This last year will go down in history as one of enormous challenges that had a profound impact on societies and people’s lives, especially those who were already dealing with diseases, like cancer. The data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep effect in cancer screening programmes, services and care, with an approximately 40 per cent drop* in diagnoses of cancer and delays to treatment with immeasurable repercussions on the outcomes.
Health care systems and providers are under pressure, the implications to the global economy are extensive, but this reality highlights the importance of taking action now in order to improve the situation for cancer patients, not only during this exceptional period but also beyond.
To help cancer patients globally, the signatories of the present letter are therefore committed; declaring their availability and willingness to work alongside national governments in order to:
• Ensure that patients can access diagnosis and treatment safely;
• Identify and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on cancer services;
• Provide adequate, resources and safe conditions for cancer services in the long term.
Reversing the negative effects of COVID-19 will demand a joint effort and a strong investment in prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
To read the full content of the joint letter, click here. The letter is still gathering support and is open to new signatories until 21st April.
* De Vincentiis, L., Carr A., Mariani, M., Ferrara, G., 2020. COVID‐19 and Oncology: Service transformation during pandemic: [online] Available at: https://jcp.bmj.com/content/early/2020/06/19/jclinpath-2020-206833. [Accessed August 2020]