How pandemic forced 50,000 cancer surgeries postponed in Germany
By Charles Joseph
July 14, 2020 - Around 50,000 operations to treat cancer were not carried out in Germany during the coronavirus pandemic up to mid-June, the head of the German Cancer Aid organisation said on Monday.
This represented around a quarter of the operations that would otherwise have been performed over the period, German Cancer Aid President Gerd Nettekoven told the Monday edition of the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
“Support measures for cancer patients, from psychosocial to palliative care, were cut back in the hospitals, sometimes radically,” Nettekoven said.
In addition, hospitals and doctors’ practices had postponed therapeutic and diagnostic measures.
“This could at some point lead to life-threatening situations for cancer patients,” Nettekoven added.
He rejected suggestions that the decline in care was due to patients staying home out of fear of infection with the coronavirus. “If 50,000 cancer operations were cancelled, that has nothing to do with patients not attending hospital,” he said.
While the situation had eased to some extent, conditions were still tight. “This also affects early cancer diagnosis. We fear that over the coming period we will be confronted with patients who were diagnosed very late,” Nettekoven said.