COVID-19 Disrupted Cancer Care Globally
Dr. André Ilbawi, from the WHO’s Department of Noncommunicable Diseases, stated in a UN News press release issued on February 2, 2021, 'More than a year since the new coronavirus crisis began, its impact on cancer care has been stark, with 50 percent of governments (having) cancer services partially or completely disrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Amid uncertainty over which COVID-19 vaccine might be most suitable for cancer patients, given the increased vulnerability of some individuals, Dr. Ilbawi said that data from ongoing clinical vaccine trials had yet to be published.
“In 2020, the number of people diagnosed with cancer globally reached 19.3 million, with the number of people dying increasing to 10 million”, said Dr. Ilbawi.
According to the WHO, there were 2.3 million new breast cancer cases in 2020, representing almost 12 percent of all cancer cases. It is also the leading cause of cancer death worldwide among women.
Speaking from Geneva ahead of World Cancer Day, Dr. Ilbawi noted that “for the first time, breast cancer now constitutes the most commonly occurring cancer globally, followed by lung, which has historically been leading cause in most of, of cancer, and third colorectal.”