Cancer diagnoses in Western Cape plunge due to pandemic

According to research, published in the SA Medical Journal, cancer diagnosis for six common cancers fell 36% between April 2020 and June 2020 compared with the corresponding period the year before. The latest research highlights the scale of deferred care triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, as healthcare services were disrupted and patients stayed away from facilities for fear of infection. 

The study’s lead author, Abraham van Wyk, an anatomical pathologist at the National Health Laboratory Service and University of Stellenbosch,  said he expected a similar pattern across SA.

A separate study in the SA Medical Journal, also published in May, identified a backlog of more than 1 000 elective surgical procedures at just six public hospitals in the Western Cape during the first four months of the lockdown. – Business Day (1 June 2021).

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