The coronavirus pandemic that has swept the whole world may affect the incidence of cancer and the quality of medical care in the future. This is indicated by a report by experts from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
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According to the report, the number of cancer survivors in the United States has reached a record high – more than 16.9 million people. The death rate from the disease in the country fell by 29% from 1991 to 2017. That's roughly 2.9 million lives saved, the report says. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on cancer treatment. Nearly 80% of people undergoing therapy experienced some delay in their care. Analyzing data from 190 hospitals in 23 states, the report also found that the number of tests to detect cervical, breast, and colon cancers fell 85% or more after the first cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in the United States. Delays in cancer screening and treatment are projected to lead to more than 10,000 additional breast and colorectal cancer deaths over the next decade.
According to Dr. Christopher Lee, a member of the AACR's steering committee, about 20% of new cancers are the result of a combination of being overweight, diet, and physical inactivity. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 40% of the country's population is obese, and the figure is expected to rise to 50% over the next decade.
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The population is aging too. Age is the largest risk factor for cancer, with about 60% of patients over 65. In the next 40 years, this age group will more than double. The number of cancer cases in the United States is projected to rise from just over 1.8 million in 2020 to 2.3 million by 2040. Children are increasingly exposed to cancer, and racism also occurs. Significant racial differences remain in cancer survival rates.
The AACR has called for additional consistent government funding for cancer research and for better access to health care and testing. People themselves can also reduce the risks, you need to regularly undergo examinations, play sports and give up bad habits.