Leading cancer charities in the UK are warning that there is a crisis underway with huge numbers of people not receiving referrals or treatment because they’ve been told to stay at home and not to burden the National Health Service.
The London Telegraph reports that Cancer Research UK stats show that in the 12 months ending in March 2021, a total of 304,555 fewer patients than the previous year were referred to hospitals for urgent checks by GPs.
It represents a drop of 13 percent.
The stats also show that there were 38,800 fewer patients starting cancer treatment, a drop of 12 percent.
According to the research 20,000 fewer people were referred for breast cancer checks alone.
Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said: “The UK faces the real possibility of the Covid-19 crisis being replaced with a cancer crisis.”
She added “Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on cancer services, and the lives of cancer patients, over the past year.”
“It’s not only those who’ve had a cancer diagnosis that we’re worried about – there are thousands of missing cancer patients out there, many of whom would ordinarily have been diagnosed through an urgent referral but haven’t been because of the pandemic,” Mitchell further warned.
The Telegraph also reports multiple instances where people were refused GP appointments for months and DIED of cancer as a result before they were even able to be referred to a hospital for a check.
The Institute for Public Public Policy Research has also presented separate data that indicates survival rates have been set back by up to eight years.
The research suggests that there have been at least 4,500 avoidable cancer deaths this year alone owing to late diagnosis.
Sara Bainbridge, the head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, noted “This data shows a devastating year of disruption, which has seen tens of thousands of people missing a diagnosis or experiencing changed and delayed treatment, while their chances of survival potentially worsen.”
The findings add to the mountains of research that already exists suggesting that the ‘cure is worse than the problem’ as regards the COVID pandemic.
In October, the World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said governments should stop enforcing lockdowns, unless as a “last resort,” because the impact on other areas of health and mental well-being is more damaging.
Kluge’s warning matched that of the WHO’s special envoy on COVID-19, Dr David Nabarro, who told the Spectator in an interview that world leaders should stop imposing lockdowns as a reflex reaction because they are making “poor people an awful lot poorer.”
The warnings resonate with numerous other experts who have desperately tried to warn governments that lockdowns will end up killing more people than the virus itself, but have been largely ignored.
Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Muller, recently warned that COVID-19 lockdowns will result in “one of the biggest” hunger and poverty crises in history.
“We expect an additional 400,000 deaths from malaria and HIV this year on the African continent alone,” Muller said, adding that “half a million more will die from tuberculosis.”
Muller’s comments arrived months after a leaked study from inside the German Ministry of the Interior revealed that the impact of the country’s lockdown could end up killing more people than the coronavirus due to victims of other serious illnesses not receiving treatment.
Another study found that lockdowns will conservatively “destroy at least seven times more years of human life” than they save.
Professor Richard Sullivan also warned that there will be more excess cancer deaths in the UK than total coronavirus deaths due to people’s access to screenings and treatment being restricted as a result of the lockdown.
His comments were echoed by Peter Nilsson, a Swedish professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at Lund University, who said, “It’s so important to understand that the deaths of COVID-19 will be far less than the deaths caused by societal lockdown when the economy is ruined.”
According to Professor Karol Sikora, an NHS consultant oncologist, there could be 50,000 excess deaths from cancer as a result of routine screenings being suspended during the lockdown in the UK.
A Guardian analysis has found that there have been thousands of excess deaths of people at home in the UK due to the lockdown.
Infectious diseases expert and University of Edinburgh professor Mark Woolhouse acknowledged that the decision to lockdown the UK last March was a “crude measure” that was enacted because “we couldn’t think of anything better to do.”
Woolhouse said the lockdown was a “panic measure” and a “monumental mistake on a global scale,” adding “I believe the harm lockdown is doing to our education, health care access, and broader aspects of our economy and society will turn out to be at least as great as the harm done by COVID-19.”
As we further previously highlighted, a data analyst consortium in South Africa found that the economic consequences of the country’s lockdown will lead to 29 times more people dying than the coronavirus itself.
Experts have also warned that there will be 1.4 million deaths globally from untreated TB infections due to the lockdown.
In addition, a study published in The Lancet that notes “physical distancing, school closures, trade restrictions, and country lockdowns” are worsening global child malnutrition.
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