Malaga – Costa del Sol | World Cancer Day: Diagnoses back to normal after dropping nearly 20% in first year of pandemic
The Andalusian Society of Medical Oncology stresses the importance of going to the doctor in order to detect cases as early as possible
Cancer diagnoses have returned to normal rates and are similar to what they were before the coronavirus pandemic, it was revealed for World Cancer Day, this Friday, February 4.
Between March 2020 and March 2021, there were 18% fewer cancer diagnoses in the province of Malaga compared to the same period the previous year. This was due to two reasons. First, that people were afraid of catching Covid and did not go to hospitals; second, the healthcare system collapsed in 2020. The rate is back to normal now that Covid is putting less pressure on doctors and hospitals.
“The fear people had of going to the doctor or hospital during Covid is gone. This is beneficial. This means that the patient can be diagnosed and treated before the cancer is at an advanced stage,” said the president of the Andalusian Society of Medical Oncology (SAOM), Antonio Rueda, who heads the medical oncology service of Malaga Regional Hospital.
More than 9,400 people were diagnosed with tumors in the province of Malaga in 2021, according to SAOM estimates.
The incidence of new cases of cancer continues to increase in the Andalusian population in a slow but steady manner, as in the rest of Spain.
“It is very important that the general public, faced with any doubts, symptoms or health problems they may have, go to their attending physician who will assess the case and, if necessary, refer the patient to a specialist so that he there is no delay in diagnosis. There is no need to be afraid because if a tumor is detected early, it can have a very positive impact on the results and the chances of treatment and survival. If you arrive with a more advanced stage of the disease, the chances are reduced,” added Dr Rueda.
Of the 47,000 Andalusians who were diagnosed with cancer in 2021, around 57% were male and 43% female.