Time to act, because cancer can't wait
Brussels – ‘Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from tackling cancer’, is the tagline of the campaign of the European Cancer Organisation, focusing on the impact of the pandemic on cancer patients. The Anticancer Fund fully supports this campaign, because through our personal service for cancer patients, My Cancer Navigator, we also get confronted with patients who don’t get access to treatment, because of COVID-19.
‘Time to act, because cancer can’t wait’, is the call launched by the European Cancer Organisation, together with the European authorities. The organisation disclosed alarming numbers about the impact of the pandemic on cancer patients.
1 in 2 cancer patients in Europe did not receive the surgery or chemotherapy treatment they needed last year. 1 in 5 is still not receiving it.
100 million cancer screening tests were not performed. As a result 1 million cancer patients could be undiagnosed due to COVID-19.
‘Cancer takes time away from us. It doesn’t care who, or where we are. And it will not wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to be over. But together, we can act to make a difference’, stated EU-Commissioner Stella Kyriakides.
At the Anticancer Fund, we experience the consequences of the pandemic on cancer patients every day. Not only because treatments are delayed, but also because travel is banned. As a result, people with cancer who need to go abroad for treatment or to participate to a clinical trial, are encountering a lot of difficulties to do so.
Travel ban due to COVID-19
My Cancer Navigator, our personal information service for cancer patients, often gets questions from people who are looking for other treatment options. They want to join an clinical trial, if possible, because they have few options left. Sometimes we find a trial outside their home country, but it’s not easy or even forbidden for the patients to travel.
Last year 247 patients or relatives asked My Cancer Navigator for information. 1 in 10 was looking for an experimental drug or a clinical trial they could join.
So, despite the pandemic, action is important. Cancer patients shouldn’t delay their appointments. Your doctor is there to help and cancer services, like My Cancer Navigator, remain open and are available for questions. Time to act.
More information about Time to act, the campaign of the European Cancer Organisation here.