Experts have warned that Europe After an estimated 1m tests were missed during the outbreak, a “cancer epidemic” is being faced unless urgent action is taken to boost treatment and research.

The impact of Covid-19 and the focus on it has exposed “weaknesses” in cancer health systems and the continent’s cancer research landscape, which, if not addressed urgently, will set cancer outcomes back in a decade. Leading health care and science experts speak.

Report, European Eclipse – Addressing Europe Cancer Research Challenges: Lancet Oncology Commission, brings together patient, scientific and healthcare professionals with detailed knowledge of cancer across Europe.

An unintended consequence of the epidemic was the rapid recovery of health services and national lockdowns, and the continuing legacy of the negative impact on cancer services, cancer research and cancer patients, the experts said.

“To highlight the scale of this problem, we estimate that around 1m cancer diagnoses may have been missed across Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic. They wrote in Lancet Oncology. “There is new evidence that, due to significant delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, a higher number of patients will be diagnosed with later stages of cancer compared to pre-epidemic rates. This change in cancer levels will continue to stress Europe’s cancer systems for many years to come.

“These issues ultimately compromise survival and contribute to a poor quality of life for many European cancer patients.”

The report analyzed the data and found that in the first year of the epidemic, clinics saw 1.5 million fewer cancer patients, and one in two cancer patients did not receive timely surgery and chemotherapy. Almost 100m of screening tests are missed and it is estimated that up to 1 million European citizens may be diagnosed with undiagnosed cancer as a result of the late registration.

Professor Mark Lawler of Queen’s University Belfast, chair and lead author of the commission, said: “We estimate that around 1m cancer diagnoses were missed across Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are in a race against time to find the lost cancers.

In addition, we have seen a chilling effect on cancer research, with laboratories closed and clinical trials delayed or canceled by the first wave of the pandemic. If cancer health systems and cancer research are not urgently prioritized, we fear that Europe is headed for a cancer epidemic in the coming decades.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is another major challenge for cancer research in Europe, the report said. Russia and Ukraine are two of the largest contributors to clinical cancer research in the world. The Commission also predicted that Brexit would have a negative impact on European cancer research.

“In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is more important than ever that Europe develops a resilient cancer research landscape to play a transformative role in improving prevention, diagnosis, treatment and quality. For the lives of current and future patients and those living beyond cancer,” said Lawler.

In particular, cancer prevention efforts and research have not received the funding they deserve, the report said. He says that a greater focus on cancer prevention will reduce the number of people who get cancer and thus allow more resources to be available for those who need treatment.

Anna Schmutz of the International Agency for Research on Cancer said: “In Europe, it is estimated that 40% of cancers are preventable.

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