Saturday, 31 Oct 2020

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Coronavirus pandemic could impact cancer rates, care in future

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Health Desk- 27 Sep 2020: The news about cancer is good for now, but the future doesn't look as bright, according to a report published this week by the American Association for Cancer Research.

The AACR Cancer Progress Report 2020 found the number of cancer survivors living in the United States has reached a record high, with more than 16.9 million survivors, according to the report.

The US cancer death rate fell by 29% from 1991 to 2017. That's about 2.9 million lives saved, the report said.

Since August 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration has also approved a record number of treatments. Thirty-five were approved between August 2019 and July 31 of this year, several of the treatments are for cancer types that have not had many, or any, options.

Dr. Antoni Ribas said he has personally seen this improvement in care in his own oncology practice. Ten years ago, only one in five patients with metastatic melanoma would have benefited from treatments. Today, half of his patients with this kind of cancer benefit from existing treatments.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on cancer care. Nearly 80% of people in treatment for cancer have experienced some delay in care due to the pandemic.